Walt Disney Animation Studios released it’s newest film, “Moana,” over Thanksgiving break. If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, I urge you to go. No matter if you only have boys. No matter if you don’t even have kids. If you love and appreciate Disney animated films, you will not want to miss seeing this one in theaters. “Moana” may just call to you for all the right reasons.
“Moana” is the story of a 16 year old chieftain’s daughter with a passion for her people and the sea. The film follows Moana as she braves the open ocean to save her island and restore her people to their ways. The story is inspired in part by oral histories of the people and cultures of Oceania, where filmmakers traveled to learn as much as possible. For centuries, the greatest navigators in the world masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, around 3,000 years ago, their voyages stopped for a millennium – and though there are theories, no one knows exactly why.
In “Moana,” you will meet Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) and her friends Pua’a pig, and Heihei, a rooster, (a hilariously dumb sidekick voiced by Alan Tudyk), Grandma Tala, Cheif Tui and Sina (Moana’s parents), Maui, the demigod (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and Tamatoa (voice of Jemaine Clement), a crazy crab after all things shiny and new. Each character is well casted and incredibly detailed in the onscreen portrayal. From their voluminous, deep colored hair (including Maui, who has an awesome head of hair if I do say so myself), to the style of clothing that divided the classes of people, to the tattoos and accessories, each character looks and feels authentic.
With each new release, both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation keep honing their craft for the better. The visuals in this movie were stunning. I do not have any sort of artistic background, but I can respect the amount of time and work that goes into bringing an animated feature to life. One of my favorite “characters” was the Ocean itself (you’ll see why when you go see it…no spoilers from me)!
Do I really need to say more than Lin-Manuel Miranda? If you’re not a fan of his, maybe I do (cause you need to be). This guy is an incredible talent. He has a way with words and the rhythm of words that is just incredible. When Neil and I honeymooned in Maui, well fell in love hard with the island culture. There is just a peace and calm about it that is warm and welcoming. The songs throughout the film make you feel warm, welcome, happy, and uplifted. I dare you to leave the theater without singing “You’re Welcome” (you can’t so don’t even try).
Movie Review: Disney’s Moana
So what’s the overall verdict? GO SEE IT TODAY! “Moana” is not your typical princess movie, and she will encourage and inspire you. If you’ve seen it already, I’d love to hear what you thought about it! Aloha y’all!