The animated short film One Small Step follows a young Chinese American girl from age six when she first witnesses a rocket launching to her success in finally walking on the moon.
One Small Step
The Fascination with Space
From the moment she sees the launching of a rocket, Luna dreams of becoming an astronaut. Shortly after she watches the event, on Luna’s 6th birthday, her father gives Luna a special pair of space boots.
When Luna opens her birthday gift, her eyes are wide with delight. She puts them on and goes on an imaginary mission to the moon. Although the film has no words, Luna’s giggles are dubbed over the playful music. During Luna’s imaginary trip to the moon, the background changes from realistic to decorative. For example, the stars hang from strings and look like the ones in Luna’s bedroom. Luna flies through a cardboard Saturn-looking planet.
A Life-Changing Event
Luna grows up and goes to college. Everything seems to go wrong for Luna. She breaks her flip-flops. Luna makes an F on her test. During track practice, Luna falls and the others race past her. Luna applies to the Astronaut Candidate Program and is turned down. The weather is dark and rainy when Luna finds her father not sitting in his usual spot in the kitchen. The viewer learns he has passed away when Luna places incense on his grave. Heartbroken, Luna cries herself to sleep.
Luna finds the astronaut boots her father gave her when she was six. This changes Luna’s attitude. Luna hangs up the astronaut poster in her room. She cuts her hair. Luna studies late into the night. Things change as she begins to do well in school and track. Luna graduates from school and is finally accepted into the Astronaut Candidate Program.
As Luna steps onto the moon, she has a flashback of her father. This is a sweet yet sad moment for Luna in that she has reached the goal she worked so hard to achieve, but her father is not with her to see it.
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