There’s a possibility you experience some level of confusion on what is a disney animated film and what isn’t. Between Disney Animation and Pixar it can be difficult to stay on top of who is doing what with which characters and what stories. This review will be on a Disney animated feature so let’s dive in and take a look at “Moana” in this box office review…
This is the story of a culture who celebrated their own mythology of gods and men. It looks at the balance of mans contributions while still being under the rule of nature and the effects of a decision a demigod made long ago. The movie examines what it means to unique, to be passionate, determined and also part of something larger, more communal. This is all done through a few characters, a few songs, and a very charming film.
We first meet the mythology of the culture as told by the grandmother of the king. She is considered to be the island “crazy” woman and she is animated and voiced to perfection for this role. From there we see the standard struggle between father and child as the free spirited youth, Moana, desires to explore the ocean and it’s only when the island begins to die that she is able to escape her fathers rule and head out to sea to find the demigod who started the whole matter.
The film blends nicely the balance of male and female empowerment. It’s centered around Moana so there is a lean towards her characters triumphs over Maui the demigods successes but that is to be expected. So, as we have read in Greek mythology it is not the gods who get credit but man for his, or in this case, her efforts to help the demigods and gods overcome a struggle.
The character balance of Moana and Maui was excellent. One, a self centered, narcissist demigod who is hiding more than he is revealing and a determined, passionate, family oriented princess who the ocean, and a bizarre chicken, have taken sides with. The dialogue and interactions between these two characters made the film enjoyable and thankfully so because they were the majority of the movie. Auli’i Cravalho voice Moana well and made her animated character believable. Maui as voiced by “Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson” is as charismatic as always. It’s impossible for this gentleman to be anything but charisma.
“Moana” is in theaters now! If you have kids or enjoy Disney animated films I definitely recommend seeing this on the big screen. If you prefer to save your hard earned dollars for holiday shopping I won’t try and convince you otherwise. This movie can equally enjoyed on the big screen as well as your home screen. My only criticism of this film was the song that Jermaine Clement performed midway through the film. I love Jermaine’s talents and his band “Flight of the ConChords” but this song, much like the opening song in “Tangled” felt like a pop tune and not the Disney/Broadway musical stylings I have come to enjoy. Other than that, I enjoyed this film and I definitely recommend you see it, either at the movies as a family or at home as a family. I still don’t believe this is the best animated film of the year, “Kubo and the Two Strings” is holding my top spot but it’s a great animated film.