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How Over the Moon took Chang’e from a myth to a pop star

[Warning: The following story contains minor spoilers for “Over the Moon,” now streaming on Netflix.]

Philippa Su first heard of Chang, the famous goddess of Chinese mythology who lives forever on the moon, from a children’s book read to her by her parents. “I would look up at the moon and imagine I could see her there with her jade rabbit,” she recalls.

Barely until actress “Hamilton” is cast as a legend in Animated feature of Netflix “Above the Moon” that she has studied many versions of myths in Asian cultures. In some, her lover Houyi gave away immortality pills to be together forever, but Chang̵

7;e nobly devoured them both to stop the enemy from stealing them. Others say she selfishly took the two of them for herself and escaped to the moon with a hare on a tow, leaving her lover alone on Earth.

Most stories end here. “It’s very beautiful and revered and it’s a big part of the lunar festival,” said producer Palin Chow. “But what has she been upstairs all this time?” How is she affected by this eternal separation from her true love? We took some liberties and really let our imagination run wild. “

So when a grief-stricken teenager named Faye Faye (Katie Ang) builds a rocket to the moon, the curtain falls to reveal Change, an elusive fairytale pop star. She wears fashion creations by Guo Pei, and executes moves from Choreographer at Blackpink Kyle Hanagami. And she introduces herself to this teenager – and to the audience – with “Ultraluminary,” a dishonest and captivating song that makes Sue dance nonstop in a small recording booth.

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Netflix’s “Ultraluminary” Above the Moon

Philippa Soo, who voices the Chinese moon goddess Chang, performs the pop song in the animated film.

“It shows how indisputably powerful it is because it requires people to dance, and you seriously just can’t help it,” said Helen Park, who wrote the film’s songs with Christopher Curtis and Marjorie Duffield.

“And he has this delicate, vulnerable bridge because, like everyone, she’s in pain. But this does not prevent its rise and be this magnetic force. I think it’s a great message for girls around the world to have their trust. “

Like the changing phases of the moon, Chang’e has many sides reflected in the tempo and themes of her songs. In the hip-hop-powered “Hey Boy,” Chang has a modern sports team – “integrating the traditional Chinese collar and wide-sleeved design and some traditional Chinese cloud models,” Pei said – for a confusing ping-pong match.

“Clearly, there are a lot of personal feelings he has to go through,” Su said. “She’s so desperate to reunite with her loved one, and that’s out of the question, because she has a little more kindness. This anger and frustration stems from being so ready, but really feeling so helpless. “

Chang'e's cartoon character

“Over the Moon” includes a heated hip-hop song for ping pong.


Chang’e finally finds himself face to face with Houyi (Conrad Ricamora) for the emotional climax of the film, in which the couple sings several lines of mandarin.

“It made so much sense to connect with my heritage in this way, especially since I’m the only grandchild in my family who doesn’t speak the language,” said Su, whose pronunciations were led by Cho. “Singing in a foreign language for the first time, I I really wanted to cope at this point. “

Chang’e and Houyi meet only briefly. And she remains to learn – against the background of a suddenly broken heart and disappointment – that although they will never be together again, their love remains eternal.

This is the lesson and legacy of the late screenwriter of the film Audrey Wells, who also wrote “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Hate U Give” and envisioned this fantastic journey to have immediate applications in the real world.

“She left this film as a gift for her daughter and husband to tell them that as long as she left the earth, their love would last forever,” Chow explained. “So we had to understand that correctly, because that’s the message of the film.”

The two lovers (expressed by Philippa Sue and Conrad Ricamora) meet only briefly

The two lovers (expressed by Philippa Soo and Conrad Ricamora) gather briefly in “Above the Moon”.


That’s why the last song is “Love Someone New”, a ballad in which Chang’e and Fei Fei face the grief that each brings. “The song uses that longing tune from the song from the beginning, ‘Rocket to the Moon,'” Park said.

“But this time it feels more transparent or open, because she’s not just singing it to heaven, she’s singing it to another person. This is a new friendship created between these two hurting people. “

This is a very familiar mood, as countless people have suffered all kinds of losses due to COVID-19. “These two characters feel like they’re very different from each other, but they get together and realize that they really need each other to move forward,” Sue said.

“It’s such a great lesson on how love can be found in unexpected places, even though it’s hard to reach and ask for help. I think we all feel like we need a cure right now. “

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