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Directed By:  Ben Stassen
Written By:  Domonic Paris
Starring the vocal talents of:  Trevor Gagnon, Christopher Lloyd, Robert Patrick, Kelly Ripa,
Buzz Aldrin, Tim Curry, Philip Bolden, Nicollette Sheridan, Ed Begley Jr., David Gore,
Adrienne Barbeau

MPAA Rated:  G  (General Audiences)
Running Time:  84 min.
    For anyone who has ever wished to be a fly on the wall during some great historical moment comes the charming 3-D computer-animated adventure, "Fly Me to the Moon". The story follows three intrepid little flies, as they hitch a ride into space with the astronauts of Apollo 11. Along the way, they experience danger, fun, and more than a few surprises!
   
    First and foremost, "Fly Me to the Moon" is a 3-D movie. Usually, saying "3-D" immediately brings to mind memories of watching silly sequences used only to pad a movie that wouldn't have been good enough for release without the gimmick, dorky looking red/blue framed 3-D glasses, and, of course, the wonderful eyestrain headache that accompanies them. Well, say goodbye to those incredibly dorky looking red/blue framed 3-D glasses and say hello to merely nerdy looking, almost clear framed 3-D glasses! Wow, how 3-D technology has progressed!

    Seriously, though, the 3-D effects in "Fly Me to the Moon" are quite impressive, and the movie itself manages to be both entertaining and educational for kids interested in NASA and space flight. How well those entertaining parts really combine with the educational bits is another story, as "Fly Me to the Moon" has all the markings of a nice little experiment in 3-D animation meant for educational purposes turned bloated committee-run film project. As a result, the continual shifting between science fact and fly fiction walks a thin line that often threatens the overall fun of the movie. I would have preferred the film to err on the side of showing more actual science behind Mankind's greatest endeavor. Instead, the movie wedges in an unnecessary last-minute subplot concerning Soviet spy flies that attempt to sabotage the famous first moon landing.

    If "Fly Me to the Moon" had remained completely true to its educational roots and had trimmed about 20 minutes from its plot, it would have made for a fantastic theater exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Likewise, if it had done away with most of the technical aspects concerning space flight, and had expanded its silly Soviet sabotage idea into a complete story, "Spy Flies" could have been a kiddie hit on its own.
   
    As it stands, "Fly Me to the Moon" is a whole that is somehow less than the sum of its parts. However, it still features some clever writing, charming characters, and all of those amazing 3-D effects. So, if your kids are into space flight, then go ahead and consider "Fly Me to the Moon" A-OK by me!
Fly Me to the Moon 3-D
A.J.'s Rating:  3 Moonstruck Stars
Review Published
August 16, 2008