After watching this film and Aaron moaning at me for a review, I finally finished this review of Moana. I absolutely love it and it has got to be one of my favourite newest Disney films. I watched it so many times so now I guess it time for a review.
Moana is about a young girl who wants to travel out to sea and explore the world. This could also be partly due to the ocean choosing her to restore the heart of Te Fiti who is basically mother earth. However, her father has other ideas. He wants to keep her safe on the island and become chief which any father would want. However, it isn’t until after her grandmother dies and discovering that her people were voyagers, she finally has the courage to go out to sea and find Maui to restore the heart of Te Fiti. Maui is a demi god who stole the heart to give to the people so they could create life itself but it was lost to the sea. This meant that the life of the islands decreases meaning that the food becomes inedible. This means that there is a demand for the heart to be returned. After finding Maui, there are obstacles to get the heart back like the fact that Moana can’t sail, Kakamora which are an army of coconuts which have a Mad Max type of style to them who try and steal the heart off them, Tamatoa who is a crab that has Maui’s hook (I do feel like this is a random pointless part which could have been done differently and better) and Te Ka the villainess who awoke after the heart was stolen. Once these obstacles have past, Maui leaves because his hook starts to break and feels like he is nothing without his hook so he doesn’t try. However, when it comes to fighting Te Ka he comes back to help because he has a change of heart. This means that Moana can restore the heart of Te Fiti but the plot twist is that the heart must go in Te Ka. Moana restores it and Te Ka becomes Te Fiti and restores the islands back to normal. Then Moana goes back home to become chief and sail the ocean with her people. As you can tell, it’s a proper Disney princess film but its modernised as the male lead doesn’t save the princess which is refreshing and is good role model for kids that a guy doesn’t always have to save the girl.
It wouldn’t be a Disney princess movie without songs. I feel like the music for this went really well with the location and culture of Moana and her people which is in Samoa which can be mistaken for Hawaii. It wasn’t very traditional to the normal princess songs which is good, it creates some variety. The main song, How Far I’ll Go, is very dramatic and really sums up her passion to leave the island to explore with the build of the music. It makes me feel like I just want her to do what makes her happy which I think most people can relate to with this song and it is one of the morals of this story. Also, Auli’I Cravalho who plays Moana does the song justice. She makes the song very theatrical and can feel the emotion with her voice as she can’t do it with her face which I like as it shows true talent. Dwayne Johnson who plays Maui did well with the songs which I was surprised with because you wouldn’t associate singing with him. I do like the song he sang, Your Welcome. It is very catchy and up beat which suits the character. In addition, I really love the song where the heart is restored. It is dramatic which suits the plot twist and its slow which increases the dramaticness. I feel like the writers, which include Lin- Manuel Miranda (who starred in Hamilton), Olivia Foa’I and the Te Vaka (who are a south pacific music group), did a really good job with the music and great songs that are moving as well as catchy.
I feel like the characters in this movie are very relatable like Moana she isn’t your typical princess. She likes to get involved, do what’s best for her people; she learns how to sail instead of someone doing it for her and also the fact that she put her hair up when she’s going to do something which any normal person would do increasing the realness of the character. I do quite like Maui because he says things that a normal person would like ‘If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.’ Also, I love the grandmother in it, she sort of reminds me of my nana, a bit mental but always look after her granddaughter and helped her guide her to do what she wanted. I’d actually quite like Hai Hai the chicken because he’s so dumb but funny and still manages to survive after everything that happens. All these characters have realness to them with makes them so relatable which can also be seen with the animation of the film. Everything was well animated from the splashing of the water to the facial expressions of the characters; you can tell there has been a lot of time and research into animating this film.
So if you want to watch an adventurous and refreshing animated Disney film with catchy songs and relatable characters this is the film for you.