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Moon Man

 
 
Film Information
 

Plot: Lonely and bored, the man in the moon hitches a ride to Earth on a passing comet. He soon discovers that his absence from the moon means the children of the Earth cannot sleep and he must return before the power-hungry President of the Earth can capture him.
Release Date: Monday 21st April 2014
Format: DVD
Director(s): Stephan Schesch / Sarah Clara Weber
Cast: Tomi Ungerer, Katharina Thalbach, Ulrich Tukur, Thomas Kästner, Corinna Harfouch, Elena Kreil, Ulrich Noethen
BBFC Certificate: U
Running Time: 95 mins
Country Of Origin: France / Germany / Ireland
Review By: Misha Wallace
Genre: ,
 
Film Rating
 
 
 
 
 
3/ 5


 

Bottom Line


With a nostalgic, picture-book charm that wraps you in the warm blanket of childhood, Moon Man is an utterly adorable lunar delight – watch it just before bedtime.


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Posted April 21, 2014 by

 
Film Review
 
 

Originally released in 2012 as a short film, German animation Moon Man (Der Mondmann) now emerges on DVD as feature length and redubbed into English.  Based on the 1967 children’s book by illustrator Tomi Ungerer, who also brought us the delightful illustrations of Flat Stanley, the film has a unique and eccentric charm and sense of innocence.

Lonely and bored in his secluded home, the Moon Man grabs his chance and hitches a ride to Earth on a passing comet.  Curious about this new world he strolls through woodlands and towns, gazing in wonder at his surroundings.  Meanwhile, now that he is master of his own planet the power-hungry President of the Earth (Ulrich Tukur) seeks to conquer the moon.  Learning of the Moon Man’s arrival he sends his henchmen to capture him whilst he tricks reclusive scientist Dr Bunsen van der Dunkel (Thomas Kästner) into building a space rocket he can fly to the moon.  However it soon becomes clear that the Moon Man’s absence from his rightful home is causing sleepless, disquieted nights for all the children on Earth – can he return home with the help of Dr Bunsen before the President catches up with him and become once again the guardian of sleeping children?

The simple but tremendously effective animation in Moon Man gives a real nostalgic feeling of delving into the colourful pages of a book – a refreshing change from modern 3D animation.  As the Moon Man walks around it feels as though you are journeying with him.  There are some strong themes in this little film:  political influence as the President’s devious wife (Corinna Harfouch) whispers suggestions into his ear Lady Macbeth style and the unending search for power and control in the adult world.  The resonating theme however is friendship and with the help of great characterisation, voicing, heart-melting dialogue and symbolic songs like Moon River and It’s Only a Paper Moon, it is this theme that will stir up emotion in children and grown-ups alike.  The film is heart-wrenching and funny in equal measure but the plot may be a little drawn out and flitting to hold the attention of kids of all ages.

Whilst today’s Hollywood animations opt for tongue in cheek humour, Moon Man instead uses a mix of this and random visual sequences, even including a bizarre off-screen sex scene between the President and his wife.  Whilst this is clearly intended to be quirky humour to draw in the adults, it just comes across as oddball and out of place within this children’s book setting.  However this is off-set by some lovely child-like humour that will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye.  The Moon Man himself is such a simplistic little character yet so unique and full of personality.  If you are the kind of person who sobs while watching the likes of Silent Running, Wall-E or E.T. then look out for this one as the whimsy and innocence of this little creature evokes reams of emotion.  As the voice of the Moon Man, Katharina Thalbach has the ideal blend of depth and distinctiveness to provide a unique voice for this bizarre, translucent little man.

With a nostalgic, picture-book charm that wraps you in the warm blanket of childhood, Moon Man is an utterly adorable lunar delight – watch it just before bedtime.


Misha Wallace - Social Media Editor

 
From the age of 4, Misha Wallace became transfixed by movies like Halloween and The Birds from behind the couch, unbeknownst to her family. This has developed in to an obsession with fantasy and horror films (and a considerable number of cheesy 80s and 90s flicks – but she will not be judged). If she was a character in a film she'd be the girl at the end of a horror movie, doused in blood but grinning victorious. Email: misha.wallace@filmjuice.com or find her any time of the day or night on FilmJuice social media.


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