A Trip to the Moon also known as Le Voyage Dans la Lun is a short science fiction film created by Geoges Melies in the 19th century in which a group of adventurous astronomers embark into a trip to the moon. The film starts with a discussion leaded by the head of the group who proposes to build a machine (like a cannon form) that will shoot them to their most dreamed place: the moon. When they land in the moon’s surface, the spend their time exploring it and sleeping in it. In one of these expeditions, they encounter a lunar inhabitant who attacks one of the astronomers but gets easily killed in the fight. Furthermore, more lunar inhabitants appear and take the astronomers as prisoners and bring them to their king. In an attempt to escape, the astronomers start a fight and one of them lift the king off his throne and throws him on the ground causing him the death. Then the astronomers get inside the traveling machine and one of them pulls the rope down back to the Earth but they do not realize that one of the lunar inhabitants also gets attached to the machine. They land in the ocean and are rescued by a ship that take them to land. Finally, all the Earth inhabitants celebrate the triumphant arrival of the astronauts when the lunar alien shows up in the celebration, however, also ends up celebrating in peace with the rest of humans.
I considered this short film a marvelous piece of work for several reasons. First, the film is presented as a comedy in order to make it more enjoyable and delightful to the audience. But even tough it might be entertaining and ridiculously funny, the film also delivers a message that lets people thinking how their own actions can significantly impact Earth and humankind. For instance, the astronomers eagerness to set foot to a place that is far the Earth boundaries reflects the avarice and desire of the human race to possess so much more at any cost or consequence. The way in which the astronomers are dressed in the film, all wearing extravagant clothing and sophisticated hats(clearly wealthy people), is another example of the desire of humans to possess more than what they already have. Also, the illusions of the smoke emerging from the factories reveals the devastating effects of industrialization to our Earth. When the machine with the astronomers inside it is shot to the moon and it lands in the eye of the moon’s face, it also shows the destruction and negative impact of humans due their greed and need of possession as we observe through the moon hopelessly crying. Second, there is a variety of animations that makes the film catching and interesting to the public’s eye. Throughout the entire film we can clearly observe how the director cleverly utilizes his talent along with the technology of that time, and creates a film that is both amusing and ingenious. These effects are well appreciated when one scene disappears to give way to the next scene, when the telescopes mysteriously transform into chairs, and the smoky effects when the lunar inhabitants get killed by one of the astronomers.
Overall, despite some scenes might be difficult to comprehend, I find the film very enjoyable and funny considering that is a silence film from 1902. Even tough a century has passed since the film came out and the technological advances, A Trip to the Moon will always be considered an exquisite masterpiece of the 19th century and will continue to be enjoyed by young and adult generations.