"Fly Me to the Moon" is a computer-animated kiddie flick about three housefly best friends who buzz their way onto the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. That sounds as genuinely painful as an August dog-days release can be, and it would be, except for two things. One, if you're 6 years old, you probably never realized how insanely cool the 1969 moon landing was in all its rocket-geek details. Two, what the filmmakers do with 3-D here is within shouting distance of art.
The director, Ben Stassen, has been making 3-D and IMAX shorts for a decade or so, and somewhere along the line he, like us, got tired of jabbing audiences in the eyeballs with yo-yos and tape measures. Instead, "Fly Me to the Moon" uses 3-D technology for something far more satisfying: creating a sense of enchanting, ever-shifting visual depth.
You notice it right off: At the screening I attended, the first shot of a swampy pond extending off into the distant mist (cattails in the foreground) drew gasps of astonishment from not only the children but their parents. Nothing had happened yet, but the setting seemed charged, hyperreal.
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