I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
Disney takes us to a non-time-specific area of the Pacific where there’s not a generic Pocahontas villain in sight.
Moana tells the story of an Island Chief’s daughter, named Moana, who is destined to bring back a particular trouble-making demi-god called Maui who has stolen an important artifact which is causing some evil magic stuff.
The more I think about this film, the more cookie-cutter Disney it becomes. The main character is basically a Princess (big shock) who wants more from life and has parents who don’t want her to leave their safe space and yet adventure and all that beckons her. Even her big song is “How Far I’ll Go”. They didn’t even try to hide the fact that they’re ripping off Frozen.
Some of the generic stuff is pointed out in funny ways by Maui, who is played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His comedy for the most part works really well with the rest of it and I do smile a lot when he’s on-screen, though one joke about tweeting did make me put my head in my hands.
The comedy is where this film shines, mostly. I don’t like the word butt being used in films that are supposed to be timeless like Disney fantasy affairs, but that kind of modern talk is not there often.
It’s pretty clear that this film had a checklist of progressive moves it had to do. Beside the Bechtel Test, Moana doesn’t fall in love, she’s strong, she’s smart, she’s everything Sleeping Beauty was not. I’m personally glad they didn’t ever become preachy or have this stuff get in the way of the story, but I’m just waiting for the first gay Disney film.
The threat in this movie is some magic darkness caused by something that Maui did hundreds of years prior, but for some reason only comes to hurt the main characters as the movie begins. I can forgive this sort of thing, Disney logic I suppose.
Speaking of Disney, I’m not still not so fond of the idea that Disney is basically done with 2D Animation. If it were up to me, Pixar would handle the 3D stuff and Disney main would handle 2D. I suppose it rakes in the big bucks and it is extremely well done animation.
The landscapes, the water, the music. This feels like a pretty standard Disney film, but you can’t really go wrong with a standard like that.
Recommended Scenario: If you’re in the mood for a good little adventure with great visuals and music.