This morning, animation legend Glen Keane was in front of the sun to learn that his debut feature – Netflix Musical Fantasy – had won his first Oscar for best animated feature film. Over the moon.
“It’s pretty exciting. I get up around four o’clock anyway, but that was something I had to get up at four for,” says the director. “I’m just so grateful for that [the Academy] recognized the beauty of this film. It was such a love work. “
Speaking to, Keane shared his feeling that his film’s message is “the right one for this year: healing and love”.
“There’s a moment in the movie where Fei Fei says, ‘I just wish things could go back to the way they were,’ but we’re not going backwards as we find out,” he added. “We are moving forward and through the challenges we face we grow and become stronger.”
There were many highs in the craft for Keane Over the moon, including working with production designer Celine Desrumaux in his “remarkably beautiful” worlds.
Of particular note was the fact that he directed from a script by Audrey Wells and brought to life the last story she wrote for the screen before she passed away in October 2018. “The story of Audrey Wells, knowing she wouldn’t live to see this movie, really was the heart for us all the way through. Every time we feel we have to find our way through the story problems, we go back to her script, ”said Keane. “She really walked us all the way, and it was so important to realize that we are carrying someone’s last, important message into the world and doing it justice.”
Another important aspect was the idea of “creating something from the moment it is discovered”.
“Discovering Chinese culture was absolutely fantastic for me,” said Keane. “As an animator, I’ve spent my career living in the shoes of other characters. To experience Fei Fei, this girl who is a combination of faith, science and math, it was great to really live this story through her. “
While Keane recently shared about a Mount Everest-type passion project he has in the works, he wasn’t ready to share any further details this morning. What he was able to confirm was that his relationship with Netflix will continue. “Our company, Glen Keane Productions, is continuing its relationship with Netflix and developing ideas,” he said, “and we have several ideas that we are developing.”
Produced by Pearl Studio and Netflix Animation, Over the moon is the first animated feature to be distributed by a major Hollywood studio and focused on an exclusively Asian cast. Bringing a great life to both today’s China and a fantastic empire called Lunaria, it revolves around Fei Fei, a 14-year-old Chinese girl who has long been told the legend of the moon goddess Chang’e. As the teenager struggles to cope with the loss of his mother, he decides to travel to space to prove that the immortal being is real.
One of the most influential artists to have worked in animation over the past half century, Keane spent nearly four decades at Walt Disney Animation Studios before leaving in 2012. In 2018 he won his first Oscar for best animated short film for Dear basketballand shared the award with late NBA star Kobe Bryant. Keane announced today’s nomination Over the moon Producers Gennie Rim and Peilin Choi.
This year in the Best Animated Feature category, Over the moonThe competition includes soul (Disney / Pixar), Continue (Disney / Pixar), A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (Netflix / Aardman Animations) and Wolf Wanderer (Apple TV +).
Over the moonThe path to becoming an Oscar nominee seemed a matter of course, with all the awards and nominations he’d already received this season. Nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Animated Picture, it has also won six Annie Award nominations and more.