I’m not sure who enjoyed this movie more, me or my 4 year old. The colors, the music, the lyrics, the cast, the story line… What’s not to like?
From the start of the movie we know Moana is a precocious, curious girl who quickly discovers two things: she is inexplicably drawn to the ocean and she struggles to find her purpose in life. Under the direction of her free spirited grandmother she discovers a family secret that “her people” were once voyagers yet no one knows why they stopped. As the next chief in line to rule her island, Moana must bravely battle the ocean to save her island from dried up harvests and fish despite her father forbidding her to even go near the water. There’s one problem- she must find demi-god Maui, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who must return Te-Fiti’s stolen heart before her island deteriorates and all is lost.
Disney has clearly identified Moana as a fearless, female hero and I couldn’t be more proud to support such a movie. My hope is that my four year old son lives in a world where seeing a female lead is the norm and Moana certainly doesn’t need to be saved by a man. Maui mentors Moana along their journey so she can become to a Wayfinder on her own. She saves herself and her island with the help of her friend Maui as they face trials and tribulations, work through adversity of scary monsters like Te-Ka.
There is no better sound than my son laughing and Moana was not short on comedy. One of my favorite things in the movie was the storytelling that comes to life through Maui’s tribal tattoos in a unique yet hysterical way. The tattoos help narrate the story line and “mini-Maui” tries to provide Maui with a voice of reason, in a comical way. Cross eyed and crazy chicken HeiHei provides constant laughter from his ridiculous antics and is sure to get a good laugh from kids and adults alike.
I like Disney movies but Moana is my favorite. Of course besides The Little Mermaid from when I was a kid. I would see it again and again and I cant’t wait until I can purchase it! Music composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina does not disappoint with a catchy, hip soundtrack that is sure to be household songs before Christmas. Bravo, Disney! Bravo!
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