Fly Me to the Moon

A few big-name voices don't do much to make this misguided animated feature take off and fly.

Pixar makes it look so easy - but this 3D animated effort might as well have been written in a cage full of space monkeys. Three young houseflies stow away on the Apollo 11 space rocket to the moon. Scooter is the fattie. IQ is brainy (he wears specs). And Nat is a dreamer. Despite a crack about having eyes in the backs of their heads, they don't. In fact they bear a strong resemblance to the ants in A Bug's Life - minus the humanity. They fly farther and faster than any flies before them. Then they come home. Along the way there are- not adventures really, but scrapes. They are nearly swatted. They nearly miss the flight. They are bottled up in a test tube and nearly become science exhibits. The fat one, Scooter, is so obsessed with food he is nearly jettisoned into the cosmos. It's no piece of cake, this mission. Oddly, the outer space scenes show signs of research - maybe that's Stassen's background on 3D non-fiction films such as Wild Safari 3D coming out. It makes a weird mix with the malarkey back on Earth, where villainous Soviet flies attempt to sabotage the lunar module's re-entry. Nicolette Sheridan lends her vocal cords to the sexy Russian double agent, Nadia (on top of everything else the film is casually sexist). The astronaut Buzz Aldrin makes a last-minute appearance in the flesh to assure kiddies there were no flies on him. With a name like that, he should know better.