Disney’s Moana – A girl who loves her island

Disney’s Moana is the 56th feature from the guys at Walt Disney Animation studios. It’s a story inspired by the folk tales, myths and fables of the islands and people of Oceania. An area filmmakers visited on many occasions during conception, and all the way through the production of the movie.

The Girl who loves the sea

We meet Moana, voiced by Auli’i Cravalho, at a very young age listening to the stories of Gramma Tala. Learning the ways of her island and the people that live there. They are simple people who live from the land and never venture past their island reef. There is nothing for them beyond the reef. Although it angers her father Chief Tui(Temura Morrison – Once were Warriors), Moana has a fascination with the ocean. She longs to be part of it and wonders what might lie beyond the reef.

When Moana’s island begins to die, Gramma Talla sends Moana on the adventure of a lifetime. Its time to cross the reef and fullfil her destiny. Her task, to find the mighty demigod Maui(Dwayne Johnson) and get him to help her return the heart of Te Fiti.

Whats the Verdict?

Disney’s Moana is a great film. However having set the bar so high in recent years with movies like Big Hero 6 and Zootropolis, it does lack a little of their punch. That said, there are some beautiful things about this movie. The music is authenic and fun. Lin-Manuel Miranda(Hamilton – on Broadway), Mark Mancina(Speed, Tarzan) and singer Opetaia Foa’i have done a fantastic job. Fusing different musical styles seamlessly. The 2 stand out songs for me were Maui’s ‘You’re Welcome’ and Giant Crab Tamatoa’s ‘Shiny'(a song inspired by the passing of David Bowie).

The 2 main characters Moana and Maui are also noteworthy. Their chemistry is effervescent, and you get a real sense that Cravalho and Johnson had a lot of fun making the film.

Finally the animation is absolutely incredible! This is to be expected from Disney but watching some of the action scenes, its hard to believe that the scenery is computer generated.

Another big hit for the mouse house, but don’t worry, echos of ‘let it go’ won’t be drowned out just yet!