Fly Me to the Moon (2008)

Rated: G
Length: 87 minutes
Grade: DA-CD=C
Budget: $25 million
Box Office: $35 million (13 U.S., 22 Intl.)

Written by: Dominic Paris, in his first recognizable work.
Directed by: Ben Stassen, in his first recognizable work.
Starring: The voices of Tim Curry, Robert Patrick, Kelly Ripa, Nicollette Sheridan, Ed Begley Jr., Christopher Lloyd, Adrienne Barbeau, and a physical cameo by Buzz Aldrin

A trio of teenage flies get excited about the possibility of stowing away on the first moon spaceflight and, based on encouragement from their grandfather who saved Amelia Earhart’s cross-Atlantic flight, they leave home and go to the moon.

Entertainment Value: D
This is what happens when B-level or lower names in Hollywood decide that they don’t want the animated movie fad to pass them by entirely. There is virtually nothing here worth praising, and plenty that bored me or bothered me. The plot is silly. The premise of the movie is silly. And, most importantly, I still to this moment can’t explain why they decided to animate flies as little gray smurfs with wings instead of flies with human faces or something else a la Bee Movie. On top of it all, the writers decided to make childhood obesity one of their key themes as they kept criticizing the one fat fly kid throughout the movie.

Superficial Content: A-
Drugs/Alcohol A-, Sex/Nudity A-, Violence A-, Language A-, Illegality A
It’s G, but there are some mild issues involving beer, implied romanticism, flies trying to kill other flies, and moderate exclamations such as, “Lord of the flies!”

Significant Content: C
Being a man (or a male fly) means seeking adventure and doing something extraordinary. Women often don’t understand this. Flies are important, too. Russians are evil, deformed, malicious creatures…unless they happen to be defectors. It’s okay to run away without your parents’ consent so long as grandpa approves.

Artistic/Thought Value: D
So at the end of this ridiculous movie with flies going along on the first moon flight, the makers enlist Buzz Aldrin to come on screen and assure us that this was all fiction and there were absolutely no contaminants aboard the lunar lander. Well thank goodness he cleared that up!

Discussion Questions:
~In real life, most houseflies are lucky to live for a month. How would that fact change this movie?
~Do you think the emphasis on Scooter’s weight is appropriate? Are overweight children responsible for their condition?
~What are the differences between men and women when it comes to adventure?
~The Fifth Commandment tells us to honor our father and mother. Do the boys do this? Why is it important to get permission from our parents before we do things?
~Do you think flies care what country they happen to live in or are loyal to it in any way?
~If you were a fly, would you care about space travel?
~What does this movie do to try to get you to think negatively about the Russian flies? Is a movie like this helpful given the world’s current geo-political makeup?
Overall Grade: D
For don’t bother. Yes, your kids will find it fun. But remember these are the same kids who like to chew on rocks and are mesmerized by that little electric fishing pole game where the fish open and close their mouths.

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