Moana Makes a Big Splash This Thanksgiving
This week, Disney’s new princess movie, Moana, hit the theaters. While it doesn’t follow the conventional format of a traditional Disney princess movie, it is a amazing experience suited for the whole family. The movie follows the story of Moana while living with her tribe, from babyhood to adolescence. Moana has always dreamed about sailing and has felt a calling to the ocean. However, her parents warn of the dangers of sailing past the reef, and refuse to let her try. But after talking with her grandmother and making discoveries about her people’s past, she sets sail on a journey to save her island and the entire planet. Along the journey, she receives help from the self centered demigod, Maui, and her pet chicken, Heihei. They bond on their quest throughout many adventures and encounters with coconut pirates and even a giant crab. Moana is an intriguing new twist on the classic Disney princess movies, starting with the fact that she is not technically a princess, but rather the daughter of the chief. It includes beautiful intricate animation of characters and especially scenery. The tropical aspects are visually appealing and really tie together the whole movie. The music, however, was very much stereotypic of the new generation of princess movies that are steering further and further from the brilliance of the Sherman brothers and Allan Meinken, but is certainly on the higher end of that category with creative songs evocative of music in south pacific cultures. The storyline is very well planned and keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats waiting for more. All in all, Moana is a huge success – it’s funny, it’s thrilling, it’s masterfully executed, and I would recommend going to see it no matter your age or preference. Also, see if you can find references to Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, Sven from Frozen, and even Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph.
Written by Matthew Blanco with contributions from Kathryn and Martin Blanco