Joel’s review of Moana (2016)

This Thanksgiving weekend, we went to see Disney/Pixar’s latest film Moana Saturday night. Can I tell you that I enjoyed this film?

  1. It’s an original story — there are no princesses, and it’s about a fable.
  2. It’s about brown people in Ancient Polynesia.
  3. The animation was fantastic — the hair, the ocean, the lighting.
  4. I’m not big on musicals, but the music (including the music of Lin-Manuel Miranda) was catchy.
  5. The voice acting was damn good.
  6. While Dwayne Johnson is funny as Maui, newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as Moana was fantastic.

So here’s the basic plot from IMDB:

In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by Maui reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the demigod to set things right.

Namita found the film boring, but the rest of us really enjoyed it. To each his or her own, of course, because I distinctly remember being rather bored when we watched Brave four years ago. The story is simple in the way a fable or legend is — Moana’s home island appears to be dying of a strange sickness, so she is tasked to find Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) to help her fight a volcanic demon, and restore the “Heart of the Ocean” (a green stone) to a particular island. Beyond the animation, direction, and music, the character of Moana was really strong. She’s the true heroine of the film, determined to save her people.  Between the animation, the music, and the entertainment value, I highly recommend this film.

Moana (2016)

Moana (2016)

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