Director: Ben Stassen | 85 minutes | animation, adventure, family | Dutch voice cast: Britt Vanderborght, Walter Baele, Govert Deploige, Mieke Bouve, Herbert Bruynseels, Vic De Wachter, Sven De Ridder, Muriel Bats
Nat (Thieme Vandeput) has heard countless times from his grandfather (Jef Demedts) the story of how he was on board Amelia Earhart’s plane during her Trans-Atlantic flight. Despite being only a tiny fly, he personally made sure that the famous pilot didn’t crash, but successfully completed the risky journey. However, a trip to the moon was not an option. The moment he steps into the capsule that launches a monkey into space, he is brutally knocked down like a nasty fly. Nat wants to experience a great adventure just like his grandfather. When the Americans launch a manned rocket, “Apollo 11”, for the first time, with the aim of landing on the moon, they just have to be there. Together with his friends I.Q. (Emiel Claes) and Scooter (Britt Vanderborght) he manages to get on board the rocket and even fly to the moon. The home front is very worried, but also proud. Nothing seems to stand in the way of a hero story, but it is the time of the Cold War and Russian flies seem not to be trusted either.
This animation film evokes mixed feelings. The story is very messy with incomprehensible side jumps and digressions that are hard to follow for an adult in terms of logic, let alone for the little ones for whom the film is intended. Perhaps in their innocence they can easily overcome that, but even for the youngest children, for whom a strange twirl of thought may not always be an obstacle to viewing pleasure, the 3D animation will at some point lose its appeal with so many randomly arranged scenes and adventures. The film is nowhere funny, nor is it exciting and the moving scenes are sometimes literally sleep-inducing. The technical implementation is aesthetically pleasing, but also exhausting. Watching for half an hour is still fine and the surprise effect compels just as long breathless admiration for so much technical ingenuity, but after that the holes in the story seem to get bigger and bigger, the bad lyrics become more and more irritating and in the end even that beautiful animation technique starts to resist. .
In addition, the glasses with which you are forced to watch the film are a kind of “one-size-fits-all”. If you’re not careful, out of sheer boredom, you’re more likely to tinker with what, after a while, may well be called a torture device, than to feel like making the effort to follow the muddled story. But perhaps this will inspire little inventors to design better and serve an unforeseen but useful purpose after all.