Apollo 10½: A Space Age is a new animated movie on Netflix directed by Richard Linklater. It stars Glen Powell, Jack Black, Zachary Levi, and Josh Wiggins. The movie starts with Stanley (Milo Coy) a fourth-grader in the late 1960s, who lives in Houston. In common with most of his classmates, he is a white male who lives in the suburbs and has a NASA-employed father. In addition to being the youngest, he comes from a large family, which comes with both benefits (free ice cream cones from his older sister’s job at Baskin-Robbins) and downsides (constant squabbles among siblings over what TV show to watch at night).
During one of Stanley’s class periods, a pair of NASA officials named Kranz (Zachary Levi) and Bostick (Glen Powell) show up at the school. In reality, the two thought the boy should be launched to the moon before Apollo 11 in a top-secret mission dubbed Apollo 10 1/2. Why? It turns out Kranz and Bostick’s first attempt at a space capsule was too small for adult astronauts (math is tough for anyone, even NASA engineers), and they need someone of his size to test it. Furthermore, Stanley has performed extremely well on previous science projects and earned the Presidential Fitness Challenge certification three years in a row, so he’s the best candidate.
The movie is Narrated by Jack Black as the grown-up version of Stanley and is the latest work of director Richard Linklater of movies like “School of Rock”, “The before” trilogy, and “Boyhood”. Linklater is also the writer of the movie. The other voice actor of the movie includes Glen Powell as Bostick, a NASA official, Zachary Levi as Kranz, a NASA official, Josh Wiggins as Steve, and Lee Eddy as Mom among others.
The film “Apollo 10 1/2” isn’t Linklater’s most accomplished work. This movie is a bit clunky in how it alludes to both real and imagined events by Stanley, even going on a nearly 40-minute detour where Stanley waxes nostalgic about life in the 1960s. Meanwhile, it’s a deeply personal and often charming film, one that clearly reflects the Houston-born director’s own background.