Moana (2016)

I love a Disney film, and this one is definitely to love and watch over and over again. I loved it! It was beautiful and heart-warming. The animation was of course outstanding. The film was comical and emotional, but also adventurous and thrilling (in a Disney way obviously). It’s a different Disney film from all the rest, standing out, and should be appreciated.

The story tells a tale of Moana, the young daughter of the Chief of the island. Voiced by Auli’i Cravalho, who is brilliant, and her voice is amazing. Oh yeah, it’s a Disney Musical if you didn’t know! Moana’s life is set out by her father (Temuera Morrison); that she will become chief and rule the island, however her heart lies elsewhere, she loves her island, she loves her people, but she loves the ocean and the ocean chose her. Chose her to be the one to save the world from the darkness, to save her island. Although, her father does not want this life for her, he fears the ocean is too dangerous, he fears for her life. The only one to push her towards the water is her Grandma (Rachel House), an inspirational character for children to believe they can chase their dreams, that they have the power to do what they want (even if she is regarded as the “village crazy lady”). This rebellious daughter runs out, following her destiny, sailing out into the ocean, all in hope to find Maui, the demi-god of the wind and sea (oh and hero of all). Now Maui is a brilliant character, complicated, comical and defensive, a demi-god who just wants to be loved by others. And I cannot forget to mention, voiced by the one and only Dwayne Johnson, and he does an amazing job, he even sings and it is enjoyable. He sure does bring the comedy to the film, especially through his talking to his tattoos, sounds weirder than it actually is, ok actually maybe it is weird, but it’s cleverly funny regardless. It’s a plot to get lost into, one to invite the audience into a new Disney plot so different to many others we have seen before. We are introduced to a different part of the sea, not exactly under the sea in ‘The Little Mermaid’, the powers of the sea and its extent and broadness of unknown discoveries. ‘Moana’ invites you to delve into this mysterious world and its beauties.

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So first thing I need to mention, the comedy of the film. It is brilliant. Like Maui mentions all princesses have an animal sidekick, but also she isn’t technically a princess, but she still has an animal sidekick. And this animal sidekick is one to never forget, it is a chicken. Don’t judge, because this chicken held the comedy of the film (obviously there were others), but I would have happily just watched this chicken for the film and been completely satisfied. The chicken was ridiculously stupid, and I mean hilariously so. The fact it doesn’t know what food is, just pecks and eats a rock… That it knows the ocean isn’t good and could drown it, yet it still walks straight in with a squawk… I’m not giving it justice, because it’s better to be watched, but it was a pretty hilarious sidekick. There was lots of other comedic elements in the film, the film felt realistic to laugh at, like accidental comical mistakes, similar seen in ‘Tangled’. Overall, there were many parts of the film that I was laughing at.

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But among this, there were moments of real adventure tension, of adventure on the sea, the limits of it and the dangers of it. There were also emotional moments of back stories from Maui, or even significant other parts (I really don’t want to spoil it – but if you’ve seen it, you’ll understand what I mean here) on the island, that were emotional, but heart-warming when they returned during moments of difficulty (it’s really difficult to not say anything here – I am trying!).

A Disney Musical means there needs to be great songs, and this film definitely had them. But Disney knows how they can create great songs, come on, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know at least one part of ‘Let it Go’! However, I did notice ‘Moana’ is very much focussed around one song, but this is the song that would be loved by all once watched, it’s beautifully sung and defines the whole plot of the film and the character herself.

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As you can tell I really loved the film and Disney have outdone themselves once again! There was only one part of the film I was a bit unsure about and that was the creepy crab, I get it was supposed to be a villain, but it was beyond creepy… Anyway, regardless of that, the songs are enjoyable, the adventure is a fun one, the film is comical and heart-warming. The animation is amazing, from the adorable pig (this film has made me want a piglet as a pet), or the jealously I felt that an animated girl had better hair than I do! A film all about one girl to set her own way and help her people the way she knows, even if she has to learn on her own and escape from the dangers that surround her. Although, the ocean is her friend and she was the chosen one – very different from Harry Potter though. I would recommend this film, especially if you are a fan of Disney, but I’m hoping you’ve already seen it by now!

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