The man in the moon visits Earth in this gentle animated parable based on the children’s picture book by Tomi Ungerer. The simple, colorful artwork in Teuton helmer Stephan Schesch’s feature debut remains true to Ungerer’s drawings, but the narrative has been expanded a tad beyond the patience of wee ones, and lacks enough satirical bite to make it a cult film for adults. “Moon Man” will land at numerous festivals, but seems unlikely to duplicate the theatrical success of Ungerer adaptation “Three Robbers,” which Schesch produced.

Bored all alone in the sky, the Moon Man (voiced by Katharina Thalbach) hitches a ride to Earth on a passing comet. But his arrival is regarded as an attack from outer-space by the Earth’s arrogant president. Meanwhile, the world’s children are unable to sleep without seeing the Moon Man in the night sky, leading him to seek help from a kindly scientist who lives in a castle by the sea full of charming Rube Goldberg-like devices. Sly music track boasts well-chosen moon tunes. Pic is available in German- and French-dialogue versions.

Moon Man

Animated - Germany-Ireland-France

  • Production: A Schesch Filmkreation production in co-production with Le Pacte, Cartoon Saloon. (International sales: Le Pacte, Paris.) Produced by Stephan Schesch. Co-producers, Jean Labadie, Paul Young, Ross Murray. Directed by Stephan Schesch. Co-director, Sarah Clara Weber. Screenplay, Schesch, Ralph Martin, based on the children's book "Moon Man" by Tomi Ungerer.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Gyula Szabo; editor, Weber; music consultant, Matthias Tode; character designers, Michaela Wagner, Rasha El Sawiy, Gyula Szabo, Heidi Yilun Chen-Ceslik, Andrea Huyoff; background/location designers, Robert Brandt, Volker Krafzel, Gyula Szabo; visual effects supervisors, Andreas Troger, Orkan Benli; sound (Dolby Digital), David Ziegler. Reviewed on DVD, Chicago, Oct. 10, 2012. (In Reykjavik Film Festival -- competing; Abu Dhabi, Warsaw film festivals.) Running time: 92 MIN.
  • With: Voices: Katharina Thalbach, Pat Laffan, Michael McElhatton, Paul McCloone, Taylor Mooney. Narrator: Tomi Ungerer. (English dialogue)
  • Music By: