Disney has always put their best foot forward when it comes to creating animated masterpieces. They get the who’s who and get to work on their next big feature animated film. Moana was in the works for a very long time. Directors Ron Clements and John Musker wanted to get the feel of the movie just right. It was important for them to portray Pacific Islanders appropriately.
Moana is a story about a girl named Moana and her journey to find her place amongst her tribe. From a very early age Moana was drawn to the ocean and did not know why. Gramma Tala had an idea why Moana was drawn to the ocean, and she always encourages Moana to find out why. While Moana is very happy to aid the people on her island, she still longs for something more. In true Disney fashion there is a song to be sung about finding your way, and there is an adventure to be had.
The story of Moana is one that brings a sense of wonder that has not been seen in some recent animated films released by Disney. The story itself is mainly about staying true to yourself while respecting the past. Very much like how Mulan defied her family wishes and became a new kind of heroine for young girls, Moana does the same. Of course, she has help from Maui—the demi-god who is very narcissistic. Maui comes off as the kind of character who is predictable, but has to go on his own journey as well.
I mentioned earlier that the story of Moana is mainly about staying true to yourself while respecting the past. There are plenty of entertaining moments that will make the movie enjoyable, but there is going to be a moment that proves just how powerful the strength of a family can be. Every parent wants the best for their children, and they will teach them old traditions in hopes that they carry them on as they grow up. Moana not only gives you a glimpse into the culture of Pacific Islanders, but it sows what an appreciation for tradition they have.
It would not be a Disney movie if it did not have music; of course, Disney was able to snag Lin-Manuel Miranda to write some new catchy tunes for the movie. A majority of the songs are more heartfelt than previous numbers. Parents, this is one Disney movie you will not want to miss.
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Review Statement: The author of this review went to an early screening for the purposes of this review.