Lunar Popcorn

Over the Moon – The Legend of the Goddess of Moon and Her Love

Passengers that follow Sel’s wagon, today our post is a special one!

This week, a week dedicated to astronauts – Hello, Marcos Pontes, my countryman – my post is about a very recent movie that tells about an asian legend regarding the goddess of the moon.

Over The Moon! 

Over The Moon (image source: whatsnewonnetflix)

Over The Moon tells us the story of Fei Fei, who, since she was a child, is a fan of her mother’s stories about Chang’e, the goddess of the moon.

Fei Fei looses her mother too early and suddenly everyone starts to move on. Her height of sadness and disbelief is when her father brings someone new for the family to meet apart from having to deal with the possibility of getting a step mother and a brother, her father doesn’t affirm more about the existence of the moon goddess that her mother used to tell her about. That makes her get the objective in her life to find out if the foddess is real or not.

A trip to the moon would be a great option, right?

Inspired by the construction of trains, a crane and by Chang’e’s legend, she decides to build a shuttle to the moon to proof Chang’e is real. She designs a shuttle that resembles a chinese paper lantern in the shape of a rabbit that uses fireworks to increase its speed. Her shittle almost works until she notices that Chin sneaked inside her shuttle, making it lose the equilibrium of weight calculated by the girl, making them start to fall back to earth.

Suddently, the shuttle is captured by a mystical energy beam and taken to the moon. They land on the moon after being taken by playful spirits, great red and golden dragons, that are those who rescued them, taking them to Lunaria, a kingdom composed of light on the dark side of the moon – a hello to our beloved movie column – and it’s the home of Chang’e.

(image source: rogerebert)

They are introduced to Chang’e and her dancers, called Lunettes – beautiful mooncakes, sometimes a little annoying, but that only want the best for their creator.

Chang’e tells Fei Fei she should deliver her a present that could bring Houyi back and bestows Fei Fei with a picture to prove she’s real, but Chang’e takes the picture away from Fei Fei and demands the present.

Fei Fei has no idea what she’s talking about, and a frustrated goddess tired of waiting – once her clock that counts the final beats so that the lunar dust falls and she reunites with Houyi – announces a competition to find her present, that she feels it’s somewhere around the moon.

Fei Fei and Chin, her future step brother, argue and she leaves without him to search for the present that will proof she was with the goddess on her hands.

Another important character on this story is a little bunny, who eventually helps Jade, the goddess’ bunny, with her potion once they fall in love right away.

(image source: discussingfilm)

Meanwhile, Fei Fei and the Biker Chicks dodge meteorites that fall because of Chang’e’s tears and go to the place the shuttle fell, where Fei Fei finds an exiled lunarian called Gobi.

They suspect that her doll of the goddess is the present, but the Biker Chicks – evil biker chickens – seize the doll and let Fei Fei and Gobi behind.

Fei Fei and Gobi go to Lunaria on the back of giant frogs, where Gobi reveals Chang’e exiled him because of a song he sang for her about leaving Houyi. After a lot of trouble in search for the present, Fei Fei finds that in one of her mooncakes – prepared by her future step mother, who said she was a descendent of Houyi – has half of a circle of jade open and notices it’s a gift that Chang’e needs.

But is there still time?

They go back to the palace of Lunaria, meet Chin and Bungee and give the present to Chang’e, who makes a complete jade circle. Chang’e and Houyi are briefly reunited, but Houyi explains he can’t stay and tells Chang’e to move on before disappearing. Refusing to believe that, Chang’e gets into a state of depression, making all the light in Lunaria go out.

(image source: empireonline)

The girl tries to get closer to Chang’e, but at the moment she enters the state of sadness of the goddess, she also gets depressed with a vision of her mother’s death, to which Fei Fei notices she never accepted it. Realizing they both should get through their tragedies, Chang’e and Fei Fei encourage each other to find love around them – for Chang’e in the form of lunars and Fei Fei in the form of Chin and his family. That allows them to accept the death of their dear ones, restoring the life in Lunaria.

Chang’e thanks Fei Fei and allows her and Chin to go back home – except for Bungee, who stays at the moon with the Jade Rabbit – and suspends Gobi’s exile. Fei Fei and Chin say goodbye to the lunars and go back home, where Fei Fei accepts the marriage of her father and Mrs. Zhong and Chin as her brother.

(image source: rogerebert)

The movie is a fantasy comedy and musical adventure from 2020, made by computer animation, and directed by Glen Keane also co-directed by John Kahrs, from a script by Audrey Wells with collaboration of Alice Wu and Jennifer Yee McDevitt. The movie is produced by Pearl Studio and Netflix Animation, and animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks. It’s starred by the voices of Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho and Sandra Oh. It’s the first international movie directed by Glen Keane, who works as an animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios; It’s the second movie by Pearl Studio, after the animation Abominable, by DreamWorks, in 2019.

Inspired Tale

Chang’e & Houyi
(image source: popsugar)

There are many tales about Chang’e, including a well known story about her which is said to be the origin of the Middle Autumn Festival.

“In a very distant past, ten suns emerged together in the skies and burnt the Earth, causing then suffering to people. Houyi, the archer, took down nine of them, leaving only one Sun, and received the elixir of immortality as a reward. He didn’t consume it immediately, but allowed Chang’e to take it, once he didn’t want to have immortality without his beloved wife Chang’e.

However, while Houyi left to hunt, his apprentice Fengmeng invaded his house and tried to force Chang’e to give him the elixir; she refused and to stop him from having it, she drank the elixir. Chang’e then flew upwards to the skies, choosing the moon as her home, because she loved her husband and wanted to live near him. Houyi found out what happened and turned sad, so he showed the fruits and cakes Chang’e liked and offered her sacrifices.”

In older versions of the story, Chang’e stole the elixir from Houyi, drank and flew to the moon so her husband wouldn’t go after her.

Chang’e appears on the romance by Wu Chang’en, from the final of the XVI century, Journey to the West.

Chang’e was mentioned in a conversation between Houston CAPCOM and the tripulation of Apollo 11, a little before the first landing on the moon in 1969:

(image source: abcactionnews)

Ronald Evans: Between the great headlines about Apollo this morning, there’s one asking you to observe a beautiful girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-O lives there for 4.000 years. It seems she was banned to the Moon because she stole the immortality pill from her husband. You can also search for her companion, a big Chinese bunny, which is easy to locate, once he is always on his back feet in the shadow of a mountain. The name of the rabbit isn’t reported.

Michael Collins: OK. We’ll keep an eye on the rabbit girl. 

The International Astronomical Union attributed the name of Chang-Ngo to a little impact crater on the moon.

In 2007, China launched its first lunar rover, a robotic spaceship called Chang’e 1 in tribute to the goddess.

A second robot rover, called Chang’e 2, was launched in 2010. A third Chang’e spaceship, called Chang’e 3, landed on the moon in December 14, 2013, making China the third country in the world to do it after the ex-Soviet Union and USA.

The rover also delivered the robotic rover Yutu (“Jade Rabbit) to the lunar surface. In January 3, 2019, Chang’e 4 landed on the other side of the moon and delivered the rover Yutu-2.

Characters:  

image source: shabsin

Chang’e (Chinese: 嫦娥; pinyin: Cháng’é, non officially translated as Chang-Er or Chang-o for a simplified pronunciation), originally known as Heng’e, is the Chinese moon goddess. She is the main subject of various legends of Chinese mythology, most of them incorporating various elements: Houyi, the archer, an benevolent or malevolent emperor, a life elixir and the moon. She is married to Houyi.

On modern times, as mentioned above, Chang’e was the name of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program.

(image source:  mythology.wikia)


Hou Yi (Chinese: 后羿; pinyin: Hòu Yì) is a mythologycal Chinese archer. He was also known as Shen Yi and simply as Yi (羿). He also receives the title of “Lord Archer”. He sometimes is portrayed as a god of bows and arrows that came to earth to help humanity. Other times, he is portrayed as a divine mean or totally mortal. His wife, Chang’e, is a lunar deity.

On Chinese mythology, there were 10 suns. Initially, the 10 suns would cross one by one, but one day, all 10 appeared at the same time, burning the earth. Hou Yi was designated by the mythic Rei Yao to control the suns. Hou Yi first tried to reason with the suns.

When that didn’t work, he then pretended to shoot them with his bow to intimidate them. When the suns refused to hear Hou Yi’s warnings one more time, he started shooting them one by one. As they fell, they transformed in three legged crows. Finally, there was only one sun and the king Yao, as well as the sun’s mother, asked him to be spared to prosperity of men.

Hou Yi was also known for killing, mutilating and imprisioning many other mythical beasts, like Yayu, Zaochi, Jiuying, Dafeng, Fengxi and Xiushe. He was instructed by King Yao to go after those creatures, because all of them were causing problems to humans.

Hou Yi was gifted with the pill to immortality by the gods. One of Hou Yi’s apprentice, called Peng Meng, invaded his house in search for the pill while Hou Yi was hunting. His wife Chang’e took the pill before Peng Meng could have it. After eating the pill, Chang’e raised to the moon.

(image source: wikipedia)

In another version, after Hou Yi took the suns down, he was procclaimed a king-hero by the people. However, after being crowned king, he became a tyrant and subdued his people. Hou Yi also got the elixir of immortality from Xiwangmu to live forever. Chang’e was afraid that, if he lived forever, people would always be victims of his cruelty. Therefore, Chang’e consumed the elixir alone and flew away. Upon doing that, Hou Yi tried to take her down, but failed. Because of her sacrifice, people start paying homages to her on the Mid Autumn Festival.

This movie, even if it is a children’s animation, definitely became one of my favourites – yes, I cried – and I hope you take some time to watch it as well.

It can be found on Netflix!

Trailer: Over The Moon

Have you ever watched Over The Moon? What do you think of it? Leave your comment telling us your opinion!

The astronaut week ended up being a very important week to Lune Station, after all, our station is at the moon, right?

I hope this trip made you see how Lune Station can be a magical place.

Dancing mooncakes, biker chicken, bunnies who make spells and (in our blog’s case) three moon goddesses – just like in Greek mythology.

Selene, Hekate and Artemis! 

Don’t miss our 2021 schedule, it’ll be a year filled with new things around here!

It’s Lay time!!! I am Laysa, known better in this space as Selene. Born in the countryside of São Paulo and raised in many places. Aquarius child – yes, deal with it! – lover of everything connected to general culture, history, languages, books, random playlists, writing and photography. Also, I should make it clear: Film/Cinematography is my passion.