I was so excited to see Moana.
Not just because it’s a new movie based around a heroine character or because it’s a musical, but because with so many re-makes in the works, it’s nice to know that Disney are also trying their best to bring new stories to life as well.
Now, we went to see the movie on a Sunday afternoon, which is either the worst time to go because it’s full of children and they can be a little noisy, or it’s the best time to go because it’s full of children and who best to review a children’s movie than a room full of children?
From what I seen and heared, they all loved it. The only noise I really heard was questions regarding the movie ‘why is she crying?’ etc etc, which proves that they were engrossed, and the odd laugh here and there. Yes there were a couple of lulled moments where some children lost interest but that’s what children do, and to be fair to them, there was a LOT of talking in the film, not a whole lot of action, which can get a little boring for a toddler I will admit.
I shall get into the movie a little later.
But first, the short!
The short for Moana was called ‘Inner Workings’ and felt like it was a little inspired by Inside Out, in that it was a story based on human organs and how they function.
It’s starts off by building a human with the page of a text book, a see-through page would flip over to show another layer of the human anatomy, the bones, the muscles, the organs etc and at first I thought it was based in a science book, but the scientific reference makes sense at the end.
It’s a story about sometimes following your heart instead of your brain and doing what makes you happy, not what you’ve been told you should do.
It’s a very relatable story about a man who hates his job and one day his brain gives way to his heart and lets him enjoy his day for once, which in turn makes his work life more enjoyable. It’s a story ark we can all empathise with and was definitely one for the parents in the room.
Moana is a beautiful story filled with slapstick comedy, lessons to be learnt and of course lovable characters that will inevitably be stocking the Disney store shelves.
The film starts by telling the audience the myth of Maui, who, with his magical fish hook that can help turn him into any creature he wishes, steals the heart of the island and sends the world into darkness.
Moana is the Chief’s daughter of her home island, an island she has been taught never to leave, even though her instincts always lead her to the sea (insert musical number about wanting to follow her instincts to the sea) and with some pushing from her grandmother, the island crazy lady, she decides to go out to sea where nobody has gone in a million years to find Maui and restore the islands.
Along the way they fight huge monsters including a giant crab and a lava monster and there is one Easter Egg, that I noticed anyway, I’m sure there are a lot more. Look out for when Maui is trying out his fish hook and momentarily transforms into Sven, the reindeer from Frozen. As you can imagine, there were a lot of excited children in the cinema at this point.
I personally thought there was a nod to Pocahontas, I’m not sure why or whether this is even true, but one of the lines from Pocahontas, is ‘it suits you’ when Chief Powhatan gives Pocahontas her mother’s necklace. This line is repeated twice in Moana, from her father to her, and also there is a small debate between Moana and Maui about her being a princess. To which she says ‘I’m not a princess, I’m the chiefs daughter’ and he replies ‘same difference, you’re wearing a dress and you have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess’ I have been arguing in Pocahontas’s favour of her being a princess for years, and this for me was Disney kind of settling that argument.
So for all of you that are like ‘OH SHE DOESN’T HAVE A CROWN, SHE’S NOT A PRINCESS’. Disney said she is.
Moana is beautiful, I cannot fault the animation of the water, it is spectacular. The songs, in my opinion will not be taking over the likes of Frozen any time soon, but as I said, it’s nice to see them trying.
I loved how Polynesian culture was such a big thing in this movie. The word Moana means ocean and there is a lot of ‘Hongi’ which is the touching of nose and forehead at the same time which is a sign of respect.
The chicken was an odd choice of sidekick I have to admit, and I thought the pig would be in it a little more considering they made such a fuss of him in the store but oh well.
I will say I was presently surprised in that it didn’t fall into the usual cliches as I thought it would, there were definitely some things that I was not expecting and this movie truly worked for me.
There is an after credits scene, showing the giant crab stuck on his back asking for help, shouting ‘if i was a red crab called Sebastian, you’d help me!’ Another Easter Egg I suppose!
I rate this movie 7/10. Losing three points only because it was a little dry in some sections (no pun intended) and I felt that some of the songs hit the mark.