It's impossible to forget what the exclusive thing is Disney's animation. Since the 1940s, when the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was presented, the animation of this studio was always among the most impressive, original, and most profitable Hollywood films, even if at times they really suffered from creative drought. However, now, after such films as Frozen or Enchanted in recent years, viewers do not expect anything less than yet another completely original and wonderful project.
Disney decides to ignore all competitors and present the fourteenth movie in its history, whose main character is the princess. And viewers are happy because they rely on Disney's creative process, and they are completely right.
Moana is more like the ocean that plays a supporting role in the film itself; it's true nature can be found underneath the surface.
The film MOANA is based on the mythology of the Pacific Polynesian Islands. Disney has been featured more than once the diverse cultures and countries histories, from the Arabic Aladdin to the Egyptian emperors but has never gone so far into the Polynesian legends (unless we mention Lilo and Stitch). The mythology of these countries is, of course, simply created for animation, because MOANA is one of the most beautiful Disney films of all time.
In fact, directors of MOANA - John Musker and Ron Clements - were about to shoot a film adaptation of Terry Pratchett's book. However, problems with copyrights forced to put aside this initiative. Then this great, dynamic duo decided to create an original story not related to any literary source but borrowed from mythology.
In Europe, the title of this animated Disney film was changed to the Vaiana. It was designed to keep Europeans from mixing the animated film with the name of an Italian porno actor.
The Short Story Of The Movie
One day, the Polynesian half god Maui (Dwayne Johnson) stole the heart of the goddess Te Fati to meet the endless needs of people. The heart - a green stone with engraving - according to the plan of the Maui, it was supposed to help people live in abundance and satiety. But everything turns around because Maui awakens Te Ka the goddess of fire and volcano, and loses his magic hook, which makes it possible to turn into fish, birds, and animals, and the stone.
Moana (Auli'i Cravalho), the heiress of the leader of the Samoyan tribe, suffers from a lack of understanding of overly caring parents, communicates only with a pig, a brainless chicken, and a grandmother - a crazy countrywoman. She is enchanted by the ocean. It speaks with her and calls to the way; fearful dad cautions his daughter from dangerous adventures. But Moana wants to try something new, despite all possible dangers.
She who is destined to find a half-god and save her village. This means that Moana must become the first member of his tribe, determined to go out into the open ocean and meet with a goddess responsible for life. Moana wants to bring back the heart to goddess Te Fiti. The legendary half-god Maui also joins Moana on her journey.
Auli'i Cravalho in Moana - Photo credit: imdb.com
The Content Of The Movie
The colorful Pacific islands, the clear ocean, and the diverse creatures that populate it have allowed animation makers to play with colors and contrasts so that leaving the cinema somehow I felt that there is much less color in real life. And yet, this does not prevent you from feeling astonished by the film itself, which practically does not have darkness. If there is darkness, it really means much to the story itself. Everything there is full of brightness and inspirational optimism.
MOANA, with its images of the ocean, vegetation, and wildlife, more than any other Disney film reminds the Life of Pi movie, which was a more technical miracle than a fascinating story, but where we could admire every view.
Like all cartoons, this also comes with a clear moral that supports story. In this case, it proclaims that people must not forget what they are by nature, what they really want to achieve, and where their true personality comes from.
Animated film MOANA - Photo credit: imdb.com
Moana's openness and sincere misunderstanding why the adults or the generations of her tribe were afraid of the uncertainty, gives the film a truly solid moral foundation.
It's also funny that, even if the film is epic on its own images and scale, its story is fairly straightforward: a girl wants to save her island, but she is helped by a half-god who has lost his honor and wants to recover it.
They are the main and perhaps the only actors in the film, who always spend time together and never look boring. Maui's arrogance and the openness of Moana are enough contradictions to make their conflicts and relationships look interesting.
Finally, even the end of the plot, related to the great evil's appearance, is strongly bound up with the main theme of the film, that people eventually forget their true nature, and they themselves have good and bad qualities, and the environment ultimately determines which ones of those qualities will dominate the person.
While reading movie MOANA review, check QUERLO CHAT: "Do you support women empowerment?"
When watching a movie, it's obvious that it belongs to the Disney machine, which always puts individual actors above the main plot, and you sometimes even forget where the main heroes are heading. MOANA's plot is not entirely homogeneous, sometimes more reminiscent of the consideration of interesting ideas in a single movie, and it's hard to bind to the topic.
In fact, this is a musical film, in which, in the most awesome moments, when I wanted the sharpness of events and the flash of humor, the creators deliberate give us songs.
The ocean in MOANA is not only a beautiful part of the landscape and not only a road, but a real helper: it actively interacts with heroes. And the name Moana from the Polynesian is translated as Ocean or Sea. Since not a single Disney princess can’t do without animal friends, Moana has a little pig and possibly the stupidest person in the history of Disney animation - cock. Both once again confirm that the inner is more important than the external and that everyone can contribute to the common deal.
Disney Film MOANA - Photo credit: youtube.com
The Technical Side Of The Movie
There is nothing in the movie that goes too far out of the general context, and every detail serves to create a calm, beautiful, and interesting atmosphere.
For example, music and songs are particularly contributing, including Lin-Manuel Miranda, who created the musical Hamilton, which has become the biggest phenomenon of recent years in the theater world. His music is so joyful and so invisibly transferring us to the imaginary world of the Pacific tribes that they cannot be damaged even by actors who made a sound recording in our native language. I have to say that the first time watched this movie in an original language, and now for the rewatch used translated version. Of course, I prefer the original version as it most reveals the beauty of this Hollywood film.
Only when the film is successful from the basics, it cannot be damaged by any sounds records or changed titles. That's the case with MOANA.
The girl Moana changed even seven clothing sets. One of them is seen only six seconds in the movie. All the clothing of the characters was drawn very carefully, based on the facts of what materials in the Pacific region the clothing was produced 2,000 years ago.
Animators have been communicating with Polynesian choreographers who have been demonstrating traditional Polynesian dances much time, so the actors dancing in the film are moving very authentic.
The animation is amazing with its wonderful graphics: the world created on the screen looks very realistic and rich, and the action is cheerful and effective.
Poster of Walt Disney movie MOANA - Photo credit: twitter.com
The Collective Work Of The Actors
A true star team contributes to the movie. Dwayne Johnson, who embodied Maui, is probably the most famous Hollywood actor in this day. It was interesting to listen to a song performed by Dwayne Johnson. In MOANA, he performed only one vocal number, but it is charming. It is also remarkable that Johnson has Polynesian roots on the maternal line.
Moana was voiced by Auli'i Cravalho (this became her debut), born in Hawaii.
Many other actors of the film are closely related to that region. If you take a film about Polynesian, then with a maximum of Polynesia! - this seems to have been decided by directors Musker and Clements. They even went to a special expedition to better understand the inhabitants of the oceanic islands, their culture, and world outlook - which are different from the ones we are familiar with.
Movie MOANA - Photo credit: imdb.com
Animated Film MOANA - Photo credit: imdb.com
Although everything in the film revolves around Moana and Maui, I want to mention some second-rate roles. For example, the strongest emotional response causes the grandmother of Moana - Tala (Rachel House), giving her granddaughter advice in a difficult moment.
But basically, background characters serve as a reason for jokes - such as the brilliantly recorded Alan Tudyk's cock Heihei, who has already been nicknamed the most stupid character in the history of Disney films. A living ocean wave adds humor too. And the tattoo on Maui's chest is living its own life. A lot of funny moments are associated with it.
While reading movie MOANA review, check QUERLO CHAT: "What kind of movies do you like?"
The Main Protagonist Role
Moana is a bold girl. Knowing that her escape will upset her parents, the heroine goes on a deadly journey to protect her home and find her place in the world. Moana was attracted by the journey itself from an early age - not only as a means but also as a goal. So, led by her heart, courageously runs the risk.
The animation will be very fond of feminists because MOANA openly hints that a man can realize his power only with the help of a woman: she teaches him to be responsible, to be responsible for his actions, she criticizes him, beats him with a paddle, makes him better forcing to perform nasty instructions.
Disney also once more reminds us of the topical things that say: only you have the right to decide your fate, not to live by someone else's expectations; only you know what you can and what you dare to, no one has the right to take away your dream.
The fourteenth of Disney Princess does not consider herself a princess - perhaps, it's why the beautiful prince was not brought into her story. Moana tells about the search for herself, not the second half. The only candidate for a romantic interest is Maui, many-thousand-year-old half-god, but Maui is just a hero, not a hero-lover. This is a story saying that the interior is more important than the external one; the story where a young, inexperienced protagonist becomes a savior and navigator, and one of the antagonists just focuses on the external shine, denying his true natural being.
MOANA consistently violates Disney films traditions of the crazy fairy sexism, to the finale becomes a true feminist manifesto. The heroine refuses to consider herself a princess - and even insists on the term non-princess. Her father is the cowardly and passive guardian of the home, while the mother blesses the girl for travel, and her grandmother simply provokes her. The fire demon controlling the world, and the omnipotent goddess of the ocean - the females.
Movie MOANA Review - Photo credit: topsimages.com
Even brighter the feminist idea is shown in contrast of Moana and the braggart and poser Maui. He embodies all stereotypical male vices: self-satisfied, self-centered, infantile. But she, in spite of the tradition, does not experience any feelings other than friendly ones. Moana does not need any guys - she is too cool for them. Even for a half god.
Moana - a decent role model for girls: a valorous and strong heroine capable of solving her own problems independently, rather than waiting for a prince on a white horse. Which, by the way, is not in the film, as well as hints of romance. The girl's heart is given to the ocean and her people, and he is only a friend with Maui.
My advice to young women—and young men—is to go on that journey to find yourself. Please understand that it's completely normal and completely necessary. I'm not saying you need to journey across hundreds of miles of ocean, but taking that time to find yourself is incredibly important. As a young teen, I really connect to that. In this day and age, we need more heroes and heroines. Be the hero or heroine of your own story, of your own life. - Auli'i Cravalho
Someone may think that an independent heroine is another reverence towards feminism. However, Moana does not have to fight for the right to make decisions herself, after all, she is the future leader of her tribe. Meanwhile, people doubt her abilities, not because of her gender, but only because the heroine is young and inexperienced. And the girl shows that she is ready to learn new things, and catches everything very well.
Animated movie MOANA - Photo credit: twitter.com
On The Final Note
MOANA is suited for the whole family, as it has virtually all elements specific to the adventure genre.
This is a wonderful movie about the young girl, who plunged into an unforgettable adventure in the ocean to save the world. It's a movie where love defeats evil, where your heart is the key to achieving the goal; if your heart is pure, it will be much easier to achieve the goal.
The film follows the traditional minimalist Disney principle, which tells an interesting and simple story that creates eye-catching images with interesting actors. Moana is an enviably simple and successful movie that does not let us forget that Disney has been mastered the animation enviously well.
The premiere of Walt Disney movie MOANA - Photo credit:
Moana, perhaps, can be called the classic Disney animated movie, created in the best traditions of the studio. A win-win formula, tested by time, still includes many-sided main characters, funny second-rate ones, humor, morals and, of course, songs.
MOANA brings to the cinema a bright sun, fresh wind, and music of distant and beautiful islands. Graphics and animation of MOANA are colorful, grandiose, and technically flawless, the humor is wit, the heroes are exceptionally charming, and the narrative is appropriately pathetic and epic. This is definitely a worthy work.
My rating: 9.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 96% ( of 100)
Critics average: 8.9/10
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