More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. The movie: ‘Moon Man,’ an animated version of Tomi Ungerer’s classic children’s book.
The Film: Moon Man
Director: Stephan Schesch
Cast: Katharina Thalbach, Ulrich Tukur, Corinna Harfouch, Thomas Kästner
Synopsis: The man on the moon is bored. One day, he hitches a ride to Earth on the tails of a passing comet — an “attack from outer space” that sets the alarm bells ringing in the President’s headquarters — and starts to explore the fantastical creatures and sights of a new planet. But all is not well — the Moon Man’s absence from his post means that all the world’s children are unable to sleep. Before the President can capture him, they must join forces to return him to his rightful place in the sky.
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Rob Nelson, Star Tribune:
In a just cinematic universe, Moon Man would be shining its gentle light at multiplex matinees across the globe. Not just foreign but otherworldly by the standards of current animated features, this hand-drawn German-Irish-French co-production is a calm, kindhearted, visually inventive ode to friendship — and the ideal alternative to the latest batch of abrasive big-screen cartoons.
Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter:
The movie’s offbeat charm sets it apart from the frenetic energy of a lot of family-targeted animation. Audiences who are used to the high-concept extravaganzas of Pixar and Disney might not be won over easily, but art-house moviegoers should appreciate the lighter touch…. The film’s energy waxes and wanes, and it lacks a strong emotional hook, but it’s never less than engaging and often, in its low-key way, dazzling.
Mark Adams, Screen Daily:
Gently engaging and resolutely warm-hearted Euro animation Moon Man (Der Mondmann, or Jean de la lune) may be too unsophisticated for youngsters weaned on Disney and Pixar, but could well appeal to those families brought up on Tomi Ungerer’s children’s picture book of the same name.
Vassilis Kroustalis, Zippy Frames:
For a film whose action takes place almost exclusively during the night, it is a great achievement to watch with interest a parade of colored objects (the rocket the scientist builds is a visual candy in itself)…. Otherwise, lack of drama in Moon Man cannot compensate for fine imagery. Children may be entertained, but there are things that could be developed (one of them being the dictatorial rule exercised) to keep the parents alert as well.
Molly Morrow, The Stranger:
A beautifully animated movie based on a children’s book that miraculously doesn’t suck.
Rent Moon Man here.