In a recent review for an animated film I wrote, “WALL-E is the evolution of children’s films; after this the wisecracking animals and toilet jokes of Madagascar and the like will look like relics, as current as Steamboat Willie.” After enduring the 3-D talking gnat movie Fly Me to the Moon I have to expand that description to include more of Mother Nature’s creatures, including insects.
Flies seem to have made a bit of a pop cultural comeback of late. In addition to Fly Me to the Moon, there’s also an opera based on David Cronenberg’s movie The Fly and even a reality show based on Lord of the Flies (OK, I know I’m stretching the point a bit with that last one), but even though Pixar was able to work their magic and make rats loveable in Ratatouille, but I doubt if Fly Me to the Moon will turn mosquitoes, gnats, midges or house flies into the new creature du jour.
Fly Me to the Moon is billing itself as the first animated film to be designed, created, and released exclusively in 3-D. The story of three precocious flies who stowaway on board Apollo 11 to make the inaugural journey to the moon with Buzz Aldren and Neil Armstrong is, I guess a technical achievement, I just wish the filmmakers had spent as much time on the story and characters as they did on the 3-D effects. Even then, the spotty quality of the CGI pales by comparison to other recent animated movies. In that sense Fly Me to the Moon is to WALL-E what Donkey Kong is to Grand Theft Auto and even if Fly Me to the Moon had great animation it wouldn’t make up for the painfully bad dialogue and a repetitive story.
Apart from an entertaining “Busby Berkeley in Space” dance number, Fly Me to the Moon is a pesky 85 minute waste-of-time masquerading as family entertainment.
Where’s the deet when you really need it?