Disney brought us this gem Moana in 2016 as their latest line in animated musical films. It was by directed by Ron Clements and John Musker and stars the voices of Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Oscar Knightley and Alan Tudyk. It is an epic adventure.
The demigod Maui is a shapeshifting hero who pulls islands from the ocean and fights evil monsters. However, he steals the heart of the ocean goddess Te Fiti to give to the mortals, but a giant lava monster stops him from delivering it. He looses his enchanted hook and is lost at sea. Because the heart is stolen, the ocean begins to die, along with the islands it contains.
Moana is a Chieftain’s daughter of her people on the island of Motunui. She wants to explore the ocean, but her father forbades it. The ocean however chooses Moana to go into the sea to find Maui to restore the heart.
She sets out and soon finds Maui who is has since lost his courage to fight. With him, they encounter harsh storms, a giant crab, and coconut pirates all to restore the heart and heal the ocean.
The movie is one of the richest animated films I have seen. The art is incredible and the voice cast is one of the best I have ever heard. They all had amazing chemistry in the story and it really brought it to life.
I have two complaints about the movie. The first is, the movie was very episodic. Though the story was fluid, it jumped from adventure to adventure like an anthology film. It was not very straightforward. Each segment felt way to brief. The second is the film lacked a good bad guy. Even Zootopia had a decent villain (though unseen for most of it). Like Frozen, there was no Captain Hook or Ursula for us to hate or root against. It tried to use plot to make up for it, which was good for a time, but no where did a truly brutal showdown take place.
Other than that, I found it extremely entertaining and the musical score was top notch.
FAVORITE QUOTE: If you wear a dress, and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Fantasy violence
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