Monday, 21 September 2009

Henry Selick "Moongirl" (2005)

Leon is night fishing on the bayou, catching fireflies in a jar under a big round orange moon - it's that kind of a film - when the light dims and he tells his pet chipmunk, "Somethin's up, Earl." Sure is - a massive catfish made out of the stars transports him, pet and inflatable, on a theme park ride to the moon where he teams up with a genuine Moongirl and giant protective cat. Mission? To reignite the moon (his jar of delights is important here) and help defend her from a pair of rascally Gargaloons. Children's fantasy then but I enjoyed it. I have read some criticisms of the movie along the lines of, it's ok for kids.... Well, so is Santa but it doesn't make him a bad person. Moongirl is a big studio production based on the Michael Berger book with a long credits list though I should mention Dan Casey who is responsible for the CG wizardry, Peter Chan the design and Courtney Booker the glistening colour that is such a feature of the movie. Oh, and director and writer Henry Selick who you might remember is known for his stop motion work on The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and Monkeybone. Not to mention the huge box CG office hit of the year, Coraline. So naturally enough in this commercial world, Moongirl features as a book and film DVD gift set. Back to the film. Carousels on the moon, a Heath Robinson contraption to control moonlight, pots of glue, varmints and a love story. The ending is good too. I'm one of nature's romantics and as girl and cat bound away over the stars at the close I have to confess to a lump in my throat. I'll have to get softer biscuits.

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