Moana Review

Erin Baquiran, Photography Editor

Hi guys! So this might be just a little biased, but “Moana” is my favorite Disney movie. Of course there are many AMAZING Disney movies including the classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” to the newer movies like “Tangled,” but “Moana” had a unique and perfect balance with humor, music, and hard-hitting storyline.

*SPOILER ALERT*

The plot of “Moana” surrounds the daughter of the village leader, Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) that has been chosen by the ocean to fulfill her destiny of saving her village and many other islands from a curse. The curse was caused by demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson) stealing the heart of Te Fiti, who was the goddess that brought life to islands. Both Moana and Maui travel across the ocean to fight various monsters and return the heart to Te Fiti.

The sense of humor in the plot was perfectly balanced, with Moana’s “crazy” grandmother, Maui’s extreme cockiness, and Hei-Hei the chicken’s inability to eat his food properly. It was very witty and hilarious but the jokes were not too overwhelming, still allowing for the audience to feel many emotions and sympathize and connect with each of the characters.

Each character was very easy to connect to and easy to understand their feelings. Like Maui, a Demigod. He may have been the savior of all the islands by stealing fire from down below to give the islanders warmth and burying an eels guts to give islanders coconut trees, but his backstory showed that he was actually insecure and just wanted the approval and appreciation from humans and especially his parents that threw him away when he was very young.

Moana’s grandmother also has a very interesting storyline. Being the “crazy ocean lady,” she took advantage of it and allowed herself to become close to the ocean and dance with the waves in peace and encourage Moana to follow her heart.

Moana’s father was also interesting because there are reasons for him not allowing Moana to journey farther than the reefs of their island to find fish. He runs out to have lost a close friend to the dark depths of the ocean and is forever afraid of the large tides.
The music is so beautifully written by the one and only Lin Manuel Miranda. If you did not already know, Miranda wrote Hamilton, and all the songs he wrote for Moana had a very similar style to it. The song “How Far Will I Go” is a big favorite of mine because it reminds me of “Reflection” from Mulan. Both of those songs are about how the main character feels like they have potential, but societal pressures do not allow them to do what they want. Of course I have to mention the songs “You’re Welcome,” “We Know the Way,” “Where You Are,” and “Shiny” because they are also very amazing and everyone should listen to them at least once.

The one thing that made the story of Moana different than many Disney princess movies was the fact that there was no love story sub-plot. All Disney princess movies have had love stories to go along with the main conflict, including “Frozen,” that was famous for Queen Elsa that didn’t need a king to rule the kingdom.

The closest idea to a “love subplot” in Moana, was her love for her people. She sacrificed her desire of being free and exploring the ocean in order to use the best path that would give her people the best life they could live. Despite disapproval from her parents, she decides to embark on a dangerous journey that she believes will help prevent her island from dying.

She struggles with her own confidence and the idea that she has the potential of traveling across the ocean, finding a demigod, and defeating multiple monsters to save her village. Her determination to do it will inspire many people to spread their wings and take chances in order to reach their goals, despite what anyone else thinks.
I definitely recommend this movie to everyone so watch it in theaters as soon as possible!

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