In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the Demigod to set things right (IMDb) Read on for my review…
Moana is predominantly centered around Maui played by Dwayne Johnson who messes with the natural order of things and Moana played by the newcomer Auli’i Cravalho (i’m glad I don’t have to say that out loud) who is chosen to set things right.
Moana is another in the recent string of movies that Walt Disney Animation has absolutely knocked it out of the park (spoilers! I loved it). Who would have ever thought we would see Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson singing in a Disney movie.
First of all, The Rock is charisma personified even when all you hear is his voice. Even if his character is a bit of a prick and only really cares about himself, he is still lovable. Auli’i Cravalho is absolutely amazing, not only in her voice acting but also her singing. This girl will be a superstar. The interactions between these two characters and the resulting chemistry between them brought a lot of entertainment factor to the film that I appreciated greatly.
The music is outstanding! The score as a whole is great, but there are a few songs in here that will get you completely hooked into the story. Immensely catchy too – I have been listening to the soundtrack since I finished watching the film. Great work by Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina and the living legend that is Lin-Manuel Miranda.
My only criticism is spoilery – so without going into too much detail all I will say is that I found one of the character’s return into the fold in the third act was left unexplained a little. But I have to remember that this is a movie predominantly aimed at kids who are not going to give two shits about this particular point.
Overall, Moana is a complete story that has lots of heart, an important moral message, stunning animation and beautiful music all wrapped up in a magical adventure on the open water.
My Score: 4.5/5 – a huge recommendation.
If you are still lucky enough to have Moana playing at a cinema next to you then go watch it immediately. Otherwise, Moana is available for digital download next week and on blu ray within two weeks time…I’ll definitely be buying one.