Peter goes to the moon, the review: That old science fiction that becomes animation

Peter’s review goes to the moon: the animated film coming from Austria and Germany, due to be released in cinemas on July 21 and at the Giffoni Film Festival on July 22, brings together children and insects, in a somewhat curious way , wrapping them in an atmosphere that is that of the science fiction of yesteryear.

Peter Goes to the Moon: a sequence from the animated film

One small step for a beetle. A big step for insects“These are the words of Ronzolino, a nice beetle now aged, when, after thinking about it for years, he arrives on the moon. Peter’s review goes to the moon, animated film arriving from Austria and Germany, due to be released in cinemas on July 21 and at the Giffoni Film Festival on July 22. Based on the popular German children’s fairy tale by Gerdt von Bassewitz, Peter Goes to the Moon is a modern take on Ali Samadi Ahadi, director of the hit film series Pettson and Findus. It is a film that brings together children and insects, in a somewhat curious way, wrapping them in an atmosphere that is that of old-time science fiction. Peter Goes to the Moon is a naive, retro and imaginative animated film with a character design that runs on alternating current. He has many ideas, which, however, do not have an equally strong emotional effect.

Peter, Ronzolino and The Sleep Man

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Peter Goes to the Moon: a scene from the film

Peter is a young space enthusiast nerd. When Anne, his little sister, disappears, Peter immediately sets out in search of him. Somehow he arrives at Campo Stellato, where the Sleeping Man, an elderly man with magical powers, and Ronzolino, a talking beetle, explain to him that Anne is being held captive on the Moon, where the elusive Moon Man reigns. Thus, this unlikely “Brancaleone Army” formed by Peter, the Sleep Man and Ronzolino, sets out on a space adventure to free Anne.

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In the name of Melies and Jules Verne

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Peter Goes to the Moon: A Scene

There is a other space opera, as Peter goes to the moon, which instead looks to the past, far back in time. The inspiration for Ali Samadi Ahadi’s film seems to be inspired by the science fiction of more than a century ago, by that Journey to the Moon by Georges Méliès, which was one of the first great films in the history of cinema, and by the novels of Jules Verne. It was a science fiction that was contaminated with the adventure story, an era in which nothing was known about the Moon and one could fantasize about the incredible people and creatures that populated our satellite. Imagining traveling to the Moon was like imagining reaching hidden places on Earth, encountering indigenous peoples never seen before, unknown animals and plants. It is a retro-futuristic science fiction that is contaminated with the great adventure cinema.

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Peter goes to the moon: a moment in the film

A pleasantly abstract, enchanted, unreal world

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Peter goes to the moon: a frame from the film

Adventure cinema and old science fiction, after all, had the same purpose, before science fiction became an adult genre and investigated philosophical themes: to amaze. And that’s what it tries to do Peter goes to the moon, which is a film in its own way imaginative, free, unbridled, which combines the passion for space that children have, the sympathy that insects give, and the enchantment of the world of fairy tales, with fairies and fairies and Man of Sleep. It is a world where the Big Dipper is really a huge bear, and where anything is possible. The winning thing about Peter goes to the Moon is precisely the imagination, the fantasy, the construction, even naive, of a pleasantly abstract, enchanted, unreal world.

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The animation that comes from Europe

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Peter goes to the moon: a photo from the film

When we approach animation products that do not come from the historic American majors we always do it with curiosity, to understand at what level that of European countries is. It’s a speech we have had with films like Captain Saber and the Magic Diamond, coming from Norway, and Hopper and the Lost Temple, coming from Belgium. These are often more naive products, which do not so much discount the technical gap with the great animation houses, as a character design that is not very original and a certain tendency to take up stories already seen. The strength of productions like Pixar, contrary to what is often believed, is more in the fantasy and madness of certain stories than in the production technique, where however the difference is seen. Peter goes to the moon has a good character design, even if not very original, for the protagonists, less for antagonists and secondary characters. As for fantasy, there is a lot of it in this story.

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Peter Goes to the Moon: A scene from the animated film

Against bullying

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Peter Goes to the Moon: An Image from the Animated Film

The problem is that, compared to the great animated films we are used to, perhaps that emotional involvement is lacking, that empathy with the characters that is not easy to create, and which is precisely a skilful mix of writing, in-depth analysis of the characters and carachter design able to fascinate. But there is a nice message, in Peter goes to the moon, which is the one against bullying. Peter is somewhat bullied, but so are the new friends he meets in outer space. And from friendship, from self-awareness, comes that security that makes you face even bullies. For Peter, the trip to the Moon is obviously a path of growth, it is understanding the feelings he has for his little sister, it is learning to listen to her.

Conclusions

As we told you in the review of Peter goes to the Moon, it is a naive, retro and imaginative animated film, with a character design that works on alternating current. He has many ideas, which, however, do not have an equally strong emotional effect.

Because we like it

  • The construction of a pleasantly abstract, enchanted, unreal world.
  • The science fiction inspiration of yesteryear, to Méliès and Jules Verne.
  • The character design was successful in the protagonists …

What’s wrong

  • … less in the antagonists and secondary characters.
  • The film fails to create emotion and empathy with the characters.

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