‘Moana’ takes the stage
December 13, 2016
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“Moana” thrills audiences with its catchy music and stellar animation. Good voice work and positive morals dominate throughout the film. But, it is too predictable.
Voiced by Auli’i Cravalho, Moana is a Polynesian princess. After setting off on a mission to save her people, Moana meets Maui, the once-powerful demigod. They must learn to work together as they face enormous monsters, while sailing across the open ocean. Along the way, Moana seeks to fulfill her ancestors’ quest and discover her true identity.
Like most children’s movies, the plot is very uplifting. Auli’i Cravalho does a fantastic job of playing the role of Moana. Her cheerful attitude, combined with Dwayne Johnson’s energetic voice-over of Maui, creates a pleasant and humorous storyline.
The soundtrack to “Moana” was created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the genius composer behind “Hamilton.” Although well-crafted, the songs were too complex to sing along to. Luckily, for audiences over the age of ten, this will save our ears from misery. The nation will not burst into another “Let It Go” frenzy.
Sitting in the theater, I felt as though I were on the boat with Moana and Maui. Despite the ocean scene being dragged out, the graphics were phenomenal. With every wave that crashed into the boat, my seasick stomach churned a little bit more.
In recent years, Disney has begun to steer away from stereotypes. Merida in “Brave” defies her heritage as a princess, choosing to spend her time practicing archery. “Moana” is no exception. Unlike the Disney princess classics, Moana has no love interest. She is instead depicted as courageous and adventurous. She doesn’t need a man, even adventuring into the Realm of Monsters.
But, it is predictable because the plot is like any typical Disney movie. Moana and Maui, two seemingly unlike characters, in both physical and personality attributes, are forced to work together. Moana is the coming of age hero. We watch as she blossoms into an independent, young woman.
All in all, “Moana” lives up to our expectations as a family-friendly movie. Although some parts are snooze-worthy to adults, the kiddos will be laughing the entire time.