From Wednesday 21st October this evening a magical lantern Installation will be illuminated in London’s Chinatown, and from this Friday in Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter, to mark the release of the brand-new animated film OVER THE MOON, ahead of the film’s global debut on Netflix this Friday.
The OVER THE MOON Lantern Installation, live in both cities until at least 15 November, consists of over fifty giant lanterns across the two locations, all handcrafted by the Liverpool-based team who created lanterns for the Lumiere Festival. It will be switched on in London from dusk tonight, before a second installation illuminates Birmingham from this Friday.
Across a 100 metre stretch including iconic Gerrard Street in London and brought to life with a thrilling animated illumination of over 12,000 LED lights, the spectacular lanterns tell the story of Netflix’s OVER THE MOON with Fei Fei and her trusty partner Bungee the Rabbit travelling to the Moon to find Chang’e, the Moon Goddess whose legendary tale gave birth to the Mid-Autumn festival.
Characters portrayed in the Installation include the mythical Jade Rabbit, Lunarian guardians Foo Dogs, luminescent Moon Frogs, and a rocket ship inspired by that built by the film’s lead character Fei Fei, along with her trusted companion Bungee. They culminate in a giant moon sphere bearing the images of Chang’e, Fei Fei and Bungee, along with a travelling rocket bike that can be viewed at ground level.
All lanterns were expertly made by Liverpool’s Lantern Company, with over 30 people in 5 locations working on each of them in a safe socially distanced manner. A spokesperson from the Lantern Company also revealed that over 1,000 tea bags, 15 litres of hand sanitizer and 6lbs of chocolate were also crucial in bringing Netflix’s “Over The Moon” vision to life.
The immersive light walkway has been created in a way to be enjoyed outdoors in a socially distanced manner and in accordance with current Governmental guidelines.
Chu Ting Tang, Chairman of the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA), said; “We’re delighted to be working with Netflix to shine light on the Mid-Autumn festival, an important part of Chinese culture. It’s great that a new film, co-produced by Chinese production company Pearl Studios, is celebrating the folklore of the Moon Goddess and we’re honoured to host the lanterns”.
Karen Baines, Head of Group Marketing and Communications at Shaftesbury, commented: “Over The Moon is a wonderful tale highlighting the value of determination and passion, qualities that Chinatown London’s tenants have shown in abundance over the last few months. This collaboration with Netflix showcases the destination’s appreciation of Chinese tradition and folklore. We are always looking for new and relevant ways to engage with Chinatown London visitors and create a mix of modernism and tradition which embodies East Asian culture, creating a home away from home. It is fantastic that this can be enjoyed both outside, and socially distanced, to ensure it is safe for all visitors”
James Wong, Community Leader and Restaurateur and Chair of Birmingham’s Chinese Festival Committee, said: “We’re very proud of Birmingham’s Chinese quarter, which includes a stone pagoda and some fantastic restaurants and Chinese architectural flourishes around the Arcadian, which will truly come to life with this OVER THE MOON celebration. We’re thrilled to partner with Netflix to celebrate this film that wonderfully celebrates the Chinese folklore of the Mid-Autumn Festival.”
Each ‘Over the Moon’ lantern honours and extends celebrations around the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, which took place from 1st October, embracing the magical folklore traditionally celebrated with lanterns and mooncakes. As part of this, local businesses within each Chinatown will be supporting the installation with various themed initiatives on offer to members of the public. These will range from traditional mooncake giveaways, to ornate dumplings, and menus inspired by the film, giving visitors a mouthwatering introduction to the much celebrated traditional delicacies. See below for all participating businesses who will be offering limited edition bespoke products throughout the months of October and November:
Bubblewrap, Bun House, Cuppacha, Dumplings Legend, Five Friends Dessert, Golden Gate Cake Shop, Kova Patisserie, Mamasons, Plum Valley, Taiyakiya, Tsujiri, Yi Fang
Caffe Di Milano, Chung Ying, Ming Moon, Cafe Chino
Throughout the run of the installations, money will be raised for the charities MediCinema and the London Chinese Community Centre (LCCC), through an Interactive Donate Wall on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue. MediCinema builds and runs state of the art cinemas in NHS hospitals, with space for beds, wheelchairs and medical equipment. While Over the Moon is playing in cinemas and on Netflix, MediCinema will also be screening it in hospitals for NHS patients for whom a visit to a cinema is a real source of comfort and distraction particularly in these difficult times. London Chinese Community Centre provides the utmost support and attention to the local Chinese community across welfare and benefits support and advice, language classes, arts and culture, elderly support, youth activities and numerous fundraising events.
You can donate to MediCinema or LCCC by visiting the Over the Moon Interactive Wall on Newport Place, giving visitors the chance to choose characters and share messages, or visiting www.medicinema.org.uk/ or https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/cccorguk2020
Over the Moon is in UK cinemas now and makes its global debut on Netflix this Friday 23rd October.
The Over the Moon Lantern Installation will run at the following locations:
o London – Gerrard St and Newport Place (from now – 15 Nov)
o Birmingham – The Arcadian (23 Oct – 15 Nov)