Moana: Film Review

moana

It should be pretty obvious by now that I love Disney and Moana has simply reaffirmed that. It is an uplifting and fun tale of girl power with some fantastic songs.

Auli’i Cravalho voices Moana, the child of the chief on a small Polynesian island. It is deteriorating – the coconuts aren’t baring food, the fish have disappeared – and Moana believes it is down to a kinda curse put on the islands years before after demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) stole the heart of goddess Te Fiti, who created life and became an island, and had his magical hook stolen by the lava monster. Moana takes to the seas alone (actually stupid chicken Heihei is a stowaway) despite her father’s protests to find Maui and return the heart.

This film looks absolutely gorgeous. The vibrant landscapes are incredible and the water is so believable. It is great to see Disney make a story about a different culture with a lead we have never seen before. I also give them kudos for casting unknown actress Cravalho in the lead – she has an insane singing voice. Her recurring song How Far I’ll Go is by far by favourite and I have played it many times since. Lin-Manuel Miranda is a co-writer on most songs and could tell his bits with their hip-hop infused lyrics.

There were a couple of moments that I didn’t love – for example the scene with a crab with a penchant for shiny things was weird and went on too long and at the end, you realised she could have done the whole thing without Maui, but I guess that’s the point and it would have been a shorter, far less interesting movie.

Moana is another strong addition from Disney with a brilliant feminist angle, gorgeous visuals and uplifting songs.

Released Friday 2nd December 

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