Movies to watch on Mid Autumn Festival – Moon Festival

The mid Autumn festival is a time of celebration. People travel back home to celebrate this festival with their family and loved ones. Everyone travels to famous destinations, watch the papers lanterns fly, have a delicious meal and of course chill at home watching movies. Here are some of the best movies to watch during moon festival.

Movies based on the Moon Festival

Over the Moon

Over the Moon (2020) Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical, Sci-Fi | 95min | October 23, 2020 (United States) 6.4
Director: Glen Keane, John KahrsWriter: Audrey Wells, Jennifer Yee McDevitt, Alice WuStars: Glen Keane, Brycen Hall, Ruthie Ann Miles
Summary: Having grown up hearing her mother's favourite legend about Chang'e, pale moon's goddess who lives alone on the silent celestial body pining for Hou Yi, her long-lost lover, the brilliant thirteen-year-old girl, Fei Fei, is in for an unpleasant surprise. Then, as if that weren't enough, her doting father catches her off-guard by making a life-altering announcement, and Fei Fei's whole world comes crashing down around her. Now, determined to prove him wrong, Fei Fei sets out to build a home-made rocket and blast off to the stars. Does true love last forever? —Nick Riganas

A movie truly inspired by the Legends of the festival is ‘Over the Moon’ directed by Glen Keane. It is an animated film released in 2020. It features a little girl named Fei Fei who was told the tragic story of Chang’e and Hou Yi during the festival by her mother. A few years after her mother’s demise, not pleased by her father’s new fiancé, she was firm on her decision to prove that Chang’e was real. She started building a rabbit-shaped rocket inspired by the rabbit that her mother gave her she was almost successful in making it take off. She eventually does meet Chang’e but then gets caught up in a mess when Chang’e demands to see a gift that was meant to bring Hou Yi back.

Further, it is now upon Fei Fei to do what it takes to save Chin, her soon to be stepbrother and also help Chang’e move on. This movie not only tells us about the legend but also teaches us about family and a lot more. This is a must-watch movie.

Movies to watch with your family

A Chinese Odyssey part one: Pandora’s Gift Box

A Chinese Odyssey: Part One - Pandora's Box (1995) Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 87min | January 21, 1995 (Hong Kong) 7.7
Director: Jeffrey LauWriter: Jeffrey Lau, Cheng'en WuStars: Stephen Chow, Man-Tat Ng, Kar-Ying Law
Summary: Fantasy adventure about the arrival of Buddhism in China. When the Goddess of Happiness tosses the Longevity Monk and his disciples out of heaven (because the Monkey King tried to attain immortality), the Monkey King is reincarnated as the Joker. He now spends his time chasing two jealous women. When one of them is dying, the Joker goes back in time in an attempt to save her. —Anonymous

Chinese name: 大话西游

It is a tragic comedy film directed by Jeffery Lau in 1995. The movie is based on a time 500 years ago when a journey was commenced to retrieve the Buddhist scriptures and the monkey got annoyed by its master. He decided to deceive his master and go on the journey only to find out Pandora’s box that opened under the moonlight when a certain chant was sung. After trials of attacks and fights, the monkey finds out what it was destined for. All now that is left for the monkey to do is fulfil its destiny. This movie is highly recommended to watch because this movie is a classic that involves romance and comedy.

Lost in Hong Kong

Lost in Hong Kong (2015) Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Family, Romance, Thriller | 114min | September 25, 2015 (China) 5.3
Director: Zheng XuWriter: Huan ShuStars: Zheng Xu, Wei Zhao, Bei-Er Bao
Summary: The film follows Xu Lai, a former artist whose dreams were dashed when the responsibilities of life set in. With his life now revolving around his wife Cai Bo who is obsessed with having children, the quirks of his eccentric family and his mediocre, ordinary existence, Xu Lai hopes to reconnect with his first love Yang YIi on an upcoming vacation. However, his hopes are dashed when he finds himself wrapped up in a murder investigation that proves truth is often stranger than fiction.

Chinese name: 港囧

A romantic comedy released in 2015, directed by Xu Zheng became one of the most loved movies of all time. It is about Xu Lai and Yang Yi, two art majors at a university who fall in love but are separated when yang was sent to The Chinese University of Hong Kong and they never got to see each other again. But their lives take a turn when 20 years later Xu Lai is married but unable to conceive with his wife. Although he’s married, he never forgot about Yang. He plans on meeting her again when he goes on a trip with his in-laws to Hong Kong. What’s to see is how things turn out when Xu’s annoying brother-in-law follows him with his camera to see what he’s up to. This movie will give you a good laugh and also a glimpse into young love.

E. T. the Extra-terrestrial

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Family, Sci-Fi | 115min | June 11, 1982 (United States) 7.8
Director: Steven SpielbergWriter: Melissa MathisonStars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote
Summary: After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott. Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as the alien is dubbed, to his brother and his little sister, Gertie, and the children decide to keep its existence a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both Elliott and the alien. —Jwelch5742

Chinese name:  E. T.  外星人

One of the most recommended movies to watch with your family is E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It is a sci-fi movie directed by Steven Spielberg. This movie came out in 1983 and had been one of the bests ever since. It features a young boy named Elliot who finds an Extra-Terrestrial who was left behind on the Earth. To keep him safe, Elliot and his sibling decide him hidden until they find a way to send him back home. In the process, they develop an emotional attachment to the E. T.

The image of Elliot and the E. T. is still used as the star of many American movies.

Big Fish and Begonia

Big Fish & Begonia (2016) Animation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance | 100min | July 8, 2016 (China) 7.1
Director: Xuan Liang, Chun ZhangWriter: Daniel Chuba, Xuan LiangStars: Guanlin Ji, Shangqing Su, Timmy Xu
Summary: It is a world within our world, yet unseen by any human, and the beings here control time and tide and the changing of the seasons. On the day Chun turns sixteen, she is transformed into a dolphin to explore the human world. She is rescued from a vortex by a human boy at the cost of his own life. Chun is so moved by the boy's kindness and courage that she decides to give him life again. But to do this, she must protect the boy's soul, a tiny fish, and nurture it to grow. Through adventure and sacrifice, love grows, yet now she must release him back to the sea, back to life in the human world. —Liang Xuan

Chinese name: 大鱼海棠/大魚海棠

Big fish and Begonia, a 2016 fantasy animated movie, directed by Liang Xuan and Zhang Chun are a must watch movie. It tells us about a magical realm that lies beneath the human world where a girl named Chun goes through a coming-of-age ritual. She is transformed into a red dolphin and sent to the human world through a portal to experience life in their world. She encounters a boy who takes care of aquatic creatures who loses his life trying to save hers during a storm. She takes him back to the realm in hopes of bringing him back to life but she doesn’t realize how severe the consequences can be and she must do what it takes to save him and her people.

The Truman Show

The Truman Show (1998) Comedy, Drama | 103min | June 5, 1998 (United States) 8.1
Director: Peter WeirWriter: Andrew NiccolStars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Summary: Since birth, a big fat lie defines the well-organised but humdrum life of the kind-hearted insurance salesman and ambitious explorer, Truman Burbank. Utterly unaware of the thousands of cleverly hidden cameras watching his every move, for nearly three decades, Truman's entire existence pivots around the will and the wild imagination of the ruthlessly manipulative television producer, Christof--the all-powerful TV-God of an extreme 24/7 reality show: The Truman Show. As a result, Truman's picturesque neighbourhood with the manicured lawns and the uncannily perfect residents is nothing but an elaborate state-of-the-art set, and the only truth he knows is what the worldwide television network and its deep financial interests dictate. Do lab rats know they are forever imprisoned? —Nick Riganas

Chinese name: 杜鲁门秀

Released over 32 years ago in 1988, The Truman Show directed by Peter Weir is a psychological comedy-drama movie. It is a movie that shows that a salesman and his family are completely unaware that their lives were being telecasted live via hidden cameras. When the salesman suspects that something was up and finally finds out the truth, he starts finding ways to escape. It shows what human faces in the day-to-day life and also about the issues in our society.

Movies to watch with your Lover

Painted Skin

Hua pi (2008) Action, Drama, Fantasy, Thriller | 103min | September 25, 2008 (Hong Kong) 6.3
Director: Gordon Chan, Andy Wing-Keung Chin, Danny KoWriter: Ho-Leung Lau, Abe Kwong, Gordon ChanStars: Donnie Yen, Xun Zhou, Kun Chen
Summary: Where there is trouble, there is a solution. This time, the trouble comes from two mythical spirits who take the forms of humans. Disguised in human skin and clothes, the pair continue to take the hearts of humans to stay alive and young. But one of them strays down the wrong path and falls in love with a married man. What will happen to the lives of this man and his wife after saving from the barbarians someone who didn't need any saving? —Kimberly

Chinese name: 畫皮/画皮

Painted skin is a 2008 fantasy-romance movie directed by Gordon Chan. The plot of the movie shows the bright moon which mostly represents sadness and mystery. When General Wang Sheng captured a maiden Xiaowei, he didn’t have any idea how his life would change after that. Xiaowei was not just any ordinary maiden but a fox spirit that fed on human hearts to sustain her beauty. Trouble stirs up when she falls in love with General Wang but he’s already married.

When the Generals wife suspects Xiaowei of being a demon, Xiaowei casts a spell on her named the ‘painted skin’ to make everyone think that she’s the demon. This movie has very interesting twists and turns and is a must-watch.

If You are the One

Fei cheng wu rao (2008) Comedy, Romance | 130min | December 22, 2008 (China) 6.8
Director: Xiaogang FengWriter: Kuo-Fu Chen, Xiaogang FengStars: You Ge, Qi Shu, Wei Fan
Summary: Qin Fen, a funny, honest, single inventor, met a girl called Smiley, who was in agony of her boyfriend's betrayal. They traveled to Hokkaido, tried to help Smiley cure her pain in heart, and both of them gradually found their true love and life redemption during the journey. —Billy Nobody

Chinese name: 非诚勿扰

Directed by Feng Xiaogang, ‘If You are the One is one of the best rom-com movies ever. The story is of a 40-year-old man who becomes a millionaire by selling an innovative invention. He then decides to end his lonely love life and puts up an advertisement online looking for marriage partners. He did get a response from many but an air stewardess caught his eye. Though their arrangement started as a business deal they both fall in love in the end.

A Season of Good Rain

Ho woo shi jul (2009) Drama, Romance | 100min | October 8, 2009 (South Korea) 6.5
Director: Jin-ho HurWriter: Han-yeol Lee, Jin-ho HurStars: Jung Woo-sung, Yuanyuan Gao, Shaohua Ma
Summary: A traveling architect meets an old friend from his student years; the pair realize their connection has always been a romantic one.

Chinese name: 호우시절
A sweet story of Dong-Ha and May who get a chance to be together after being apart after high school. This movie released in 2009 and was directed by Hur Jin-Ho. Dong-Ha was given a project to rebuild buildings after the earthquake of 2008, there he meets May coincidentally. They had feelings for each other when they were young but never confessed, now fate brought them together so that they could reclaim their love. Watching this movie with your spouse will reignite the spark.

My Old Classmate

Tong zhuo de ni (2014) Comedy, Romance | 98min | April 25, 2014 (China) 5.6
Director: Frant GwoWriter: Li Ao, Xiaosong Gao, Jinchuan SongStars: Dongyu Zhou, Kenny Lin, Natsuko Aoike
Summary: My Old Classmate was an extraordinarily popular song composed by Gao Xiaosong in 1994. After 20 years, the movie My Old Classmate utilized the same name to recall all the romantic memories for several generations. The movie focused on a pair of young couple with pure love and their struggles in different varieties of obstacles during their growth, which expressed the sorrow in a soft way. The movie turn out to be a masterpiece, which got over 450 million RMB as the perfect end. —Zhao Yang

Chinese name: 同桌的妳

Young love is always loved by all, this is one such story. Directed by FrantGwo and released in 2014 this movie shows what problems a relationship can face. The love between the main characters starts in middle school and gets stronger every year right through college but when both of them have different dreams. This movie is a rollercoaster of emotions. You will have laughter but should also keep a tissue box with you, you might need it.

Movies that are Good to Watch During the Moon Festival

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance | 120min | January 12, 2001 (United States) 7.8
Director: Ang LeeWriter: Hui-Ling Wang, James Schamus, Kuo Jung TsaiStars: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang
Summary: In early nineteenth-century China, in the waning years of the Qing dynasty, the renowned swordsman who yearns for enlightenment, Li Mu Bai, decides to give up his legendary Green Destiny sword: the sharp four-hundred-year-old blade of heroes. To mark the end of a blood-stained career, Li entrusts the excellent female warrior, Yu Shu Lien, with the precious weapon to deliver it to Governor Yu; however, once there, an audacious and nimble masked thief manages to steal it. As Shu Lien is hot on the trail of the skilled burglar, unrequited loves; fervent passions; an unconquerable desire for freedom, and bitter loose ends stand in the way. Can Mu Bai shake off his violent past? —Nick Riganas

Chinese name: 卧虎藏龙

This is one of the best Chinese movies of all time directed by Ang Lee in 2000. Martial arts have always been the pride and joy of the country but this movie not only shows martial arts but also the culture and history of China. Master Li tells his love to pass on his sword, the Green Destiny to Sir Te but when the sword goes missing, he sets out on a mission to get it back. This movie has won over 40 awards and has been well received all over the world.

Raise the Red Lantern

Raise the Red Lantern (1991) Drama, History, Romance | 125min | December 18, 1991 (Italy) 8.1
Director: Yimou ZhangWriter: Su Tong, Ni ZhenStars: Gong Li, Jingwu Ma, Saifei He
Summary: China in the 1920's. After her father's death, nineteen year old Songlian is forced to marry Chen Zuoqian, the lord of a powerful family. Fifty year old Chen has already three wives, each of them living in separate houses within the great castle. The competition between the wives is tough, as their master's attention carries power, status and privilege. Each night Chen must decide with which wife to spend the night and a red lantern is lit in front of the house of his choice. And each wife schemes and plots to make sure it's hers. However, things get out of hand... —Mattias Pettersson <[email protected]>

Chinese name: 大红灯笼高高挂

Director Yi-Mou Zhang did an awesome job with this movie. It shows the story of a girl in her teens who lost her father and had to become a concubine to a wealthy master. She became the third concubine to the man only to find out that the other concubines and she were pitted against one another. The quest that they are upon to win their master’s love and affection unveil the dark past of each of them. 

Movies for Kids

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) Animation, Family, Fantasy | 86min | July 13, 1990 (United States) 8.2
Director: Hayao MiyazakiWriter: Hayao MiyazakiStars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto
Summary: Two young girls, 10-year-old Satsuki and her 4-year-old sister Mei, move into a house in the country with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. Satsuki and Mei discover that the nearby forest is inhabited by magical creatures called Totoros (pronounced toe-toe-ro). They soon befriend these Totoros, and have several magical adventures. —Christopher E. Meadows <[email protected]>

Chinese name: 龙猫 /龍貓

A Japanese animated, fantasy movie, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, ‘My Neighbor Totoro is very famous among children. Watching this movie will give your kids an amazing experience. It is the story of Mei and Satsuki who move away to a new home because they wanted to be close to their mother. During their time there they became friends with a huge cuddly cat named Totoro who was a spirit. Totoro provided them comfort. The message conveyed through the means of this fantasy movie is to look for hope and optimism in every situation. It teaches everyone to be positive and get through their situations and come out stronger.

Fly Me to the Moon

Fly Me to the Moon 3D (2007) Animation, Adventure, Family | 84min | August 29, 2008 (United States) 4.5
Director: Ben Stassen, Mimi MaynardWriter: Domonic ParisStars: Trevor Gagnon, Philip Bolden, David Gore
Summary: In the Kennedy days, all the States buzz about the Apollo moon program, even the bugs. Grandpa fly Amos (Christopher Lloyd) keeps "inspiring" his grandson and two mates, a nerd and a glutton, with heroic stories. New they decide to get in on the action at Cape Canaveral via an astronaut's bread box. Grandpa also gets involved. There's also an evil Soviet Russian fly with which to deal. —KGF Vissers

Chinese name: 让我飞向月亮

Inspired by the first man ever to step foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong, ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ is a science fiction animated movie directed by Ben Stassen that was released in 2008. A fly named Nat loved hearing awesome stories from his grandfather from when he was young. He wanted to experience things for himself and grew desperate and decided to go to the moon with his best friends on Apollo 11. Though they faced competition from a Russian rocket and were firm on landing.  

Little Door Gods

The Guardian Brothers (2016) Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy | 103min | January 1, 2016 (China) 5.5
Director: Gary Wang, Paulette Victor-LiftonWriter: Dan Edelstein, Terrence Stone, Gary WangStars: Bai-Ke, Mike Birbiglia, Mel Brooks
Summary: There's a crisis in the Chinese Spirit World -- humans don't believe in gods anymore! A Door God, facing unemployment, ventures into the human world to prove his worth, leading to unexpected encounters and transformations for humans and spirits alike.

Chinese name: 小门神/小門神

Guardian angels are a concept that help kids keep their spirits high. Wang Wei and Paulette Victor-Lifton directed animated movie are some of those movies that will bring smiles to your kid’s faces. It shows the story of a family whose soup shop is in danger by their opposing team that was planning sabotage. Guardian angels though were retired but wanted to help them. For them to help, they came out of retirement and helped the family through their hard time.

These movies have a great plot and to do it justice, an amazing cast. Watching these movies during the festival will be a great way to spend time with your family and loved ones. These are the most highly recommended movies with the best ratings and reviews. Do give them a try!

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