‘Dear Basketball’ Oscar Nominee Glen Keane to Direct Netflix’s Animated Movie ‘Over the Moon’

Legendary former Disney animator to direct modern-day retelling of a classic Chinese myth

Glen Keane Over The Moon
Netflix/Pearl Studio

Hot off his Oscar nomination with Kobe Bryant for the animated short film “Dear Basketball,” famed animator Glen Keane has been hired by Netflix and Pearl Studio to direct the feature-length film “Over The Moon,” which will be released theatrically in China and on Netflix worldwide in 2020.

The signing was announced on Tuesday by Peilin Chou, Chief Creative Officer of Pearl Studio and Melissa Cobb, Vice President of Kids & Family for Netflix

Based on a classic Chinese myth, “Over The Moon” follows a girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Moon Goddess. Audrey Wells penned the script with “Dear Basketball” producer Gennie Rim and executive producer Janet Yang (“Joy Luck Club”) also attached to the project.

Keane is regarded as one of the most prolific animators of the later 20th century, working on several key characters for films during the Disney Renaissance including the Beast in “Beauty and the Beast,” Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” and the titular characters in “Pocahontas,” “Aladdin,” and “Tarzan.” He left Disney in 2012 to create his own studio, Glen Keane Productions.

“I am powerfully drawn to characters who believe the impossible is possible,” said Keane. “‘Over The Moon’ has just such a heroine as its centerpiece. The compelling script by Audrey Wells has tremendous heart and humor that called to me and I had to respond. I’m honored to bring this story to life alongside my producer Gennie Rim. We are both looking forward to creating a wonderful film and partnership with Melissa Cobb at Netflix and Peilin Chou at Pearl Studio.”

The announcement of “Over The Moon” comes a week after the Chinese investor group CMC Capital Partners announced the purchase of the animation studio Oriental Dreamworks, which was relaunched as Pearl Studio. The studio also has the feature film “Everest” on its slate, with that film scheduled for release through Universal in autumn 2019.

“Glen Keane is one of the most beloved and respected animation talents in the world,” said Peilin Chou, Chief Creative Officer for Pearl Studio. “His contributions to the art form are legendary and as Pearl Studio launches our operations, I can not imagine a more exciting or important director to bring the enormous scope, truth and soul of ‘Over The Moon’ to life. We are beyond thrilled to be partnering with Glen and Netflix on the creation of this beautiful and enchanting film.”