Fly Me to the Moon
It may not be in the league of Wall E or Kung Fu Panda, but this 3D animated adventure into space is the perfect family entertainment--a clever and funny movie full of wonder and imagination.
Using the 1969 Apollo 11 space mission that landed man on the moon for the first time as its starting point, Fly Me to the Moon seamlessly blends a nice message about achieving your dreams with an amusing story centering on three "fly" guys on a mission to become the first insects on the moon. Young Nat (Trevor Gagnon), inspired by his grandfather's (Christopher Lloyd) tall tales about rescuing Amelia Earhart as she made her historic flight across the Atlantic, decides to recruit two friends--IQ (Philip Daniel Bolden) and Scooter (David Gore)--to secretly board Apollo 11 just before it takes off on its history-making expedition to the moon. When they are discovered on board, they are placed in a test tube for later scientific study. But problems with the ship's engine enable them to escape, and they manage to lend a helping wing that allows the mission to continue. That is until trouble rears its head in the form of grandpa's old love, Nadia (Nicollette Sheridan), who arrives from Russia with news that the Russians plan to sabotage the mission using evil spy fly Yegor (Tim Curry) to stop it in its tracks.
Gagnon, Bolden and Gore handle their vocal assignments well, making believable flies who want to get to the moon. Basically, they play it like 6 year-olds, and there's nothing wrong with that considering the target audience is just about that age. Lloyd is a delight as the old codger Grandpa fly who has lots of tales to tell and tells them often. Kelly Ripa and Adrienne Barbeau ably play two of the fly moms who become alarmed when they discover their "kids" have just been launched into the stratosphere. There's also good villainous work from Tim Curry as the heavy Yegor, out to destroy the mission, and Ed Begley Jr. as another Russian, Poopchev. Best treat of all is the late inning appearance by Buzz Aldrin, one of the original Apollo 11 astronauts, who turns up to give a pep talk and throw in a disclaimer that flies could never stowaway on any moon mission just in case someone in the audience mistakes this for a NASA documentary.
As the first animated film ever to be completely shot in the Real D or 3D format, Fly Me To The Moon achieves some first-rate effects using the advancing digital technology so effectively, you just may feel you can reach out and swat one of those flies who come right at you in the film's opening scene. Director Ben Stassen uses his background in large format films and specialized 3D imagery to leap into the full length Real D feature film business with this sweet treat for kids and even the older family members who may have fond memories of the moon shot nearly 40 years ago. Similar in some ways to the recent Space Chimps but more fun to watch, Stassen employs 3D as an integral part of the story rather than just having characters throw stuff at the audience like a lot of these films do. Expect more three-dimensional 'toons if this succeeds and why shouldn't it? Fly Me To The Moon soars, taking the 3D experience to new heights.
Hollywood.com rated this film 3 stars.