Starring: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison
Directed by: Ron Clements, Don Hall
Written by: Jared Bush
Rating: PG Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min
Disney have gotten so good at the ‘princess’ narrative, they literally have to acknowledge the clichés they created. As Maui (Dwayne Johnson) says, “You’re wearing a dress and you have an animal sidekick. You’re a princess.”
But this is okay. It’s a formula that works, and it has worked for a very long time. It’s what Disney does best and Moana is another very successful addition to the mouse-house library.
Moana follows familiar Disney-isms, set within Polynesian folklore. It’s your standard discussion pitting the forces of fear against progressive values. It sets a task for our hero, and puts obstacles in her way. She has to grow and gain a better understanding of the world before she can complete said task, and yes, it’s got a couple of animal sidekicks. The pig, however, is woefully underused!
It’s also superb. It’s everything you’d expect and want from a Disney animated film. Great characters, catchy songs, animal sidekicks, and jokes for the whole family. The theater I was in was packed with families, and this film received an enthusiastic round of applause from everyone.
Expect a high-quality product from the mouse-house. It’s beautifully animated and a lot of fun. This film should work for both adults and children. It also turns out that Dwayne Johnson can carry a tune!
Best Moment: << a little spoiler >>
Maui is teaching Maona how to sail, and tells her to test the ocean for warm currents. At first the currents are cold, but then suddenly warm-up, and we cut to a very relieved shot of Maui. Very funny. Parents laughed, and then laughed again when all the kids in the audience collectively shouted, “ewwww!”