Moana Movie Review: This Disney Adventure is Magical and Inspirational
Moana is the second Disney Princess to have a story not based on a fairy tale or legend, nor having a love interest. The first one was Merida from Brave (2012), four years prior.
Director: Ron Clements and John Musker
Cast: Voices of Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk
Expect Disney to present you with the most interesting cinematic experience whenever they come up with a new animation work. After Zootopia, Disney brings a new princess story- that of Moana- and completely owns it. Moana is Disney's first Polynesian princess and thus the studio had a great responsibility of presenting a whole new culture on screen with accuracy.
Moana is the strong-willed daughter of the chief of a Polynesian tribe, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with a goddess. When a blight strikes her island, Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod, in hopes to save her people and to listen to her true calling. The film has successfully entwined the rich culture of the Polynesian tribe with the courage of a young girl giving an inspiring experience to the audience.
We have seen diverse princesses like Mulan, Ponachatas and Jasmine, so what makes Moana so different? Well, the way she has been constructed is brilliant to start with. She is real, rebellious, courageous and extremely relatable, something that other Disney princess aren't. She doesn't look like a dream in every frame, neither does her life depends on or around her prince. She is young, responsible and curious, thus belongs to the new league of Disney princess.
Apart from Moana, it's the film's rich story that keeps you hooked throughout. The other characters of the film, particularly Demigod Maui and Moana's grandmother stand out. Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson, is an arrogant, self-immersed, powerful yet kind at heart 1000 years old demigod, who guides Moana throughout the film and helps her achieve her goal. He is caring, quirky and sarcastic, a perfect sidekick of the leading lady. You would fall in love with Maui by the end of the film for all the right reasons.
The makers have given a respectable status to the mother nature, a key figure of the Polynesian tribe. The subtle message of preserving our nature and keeping it intact has been delivered metaphorically. Another highlight of the film is its music. Given by Hamilton music director Lin-Manuel Miranda, it captures the essence of the film perfectly. The tribal beats to the dilemma that Moana faces, everything has been captured perfectly by the music and the songs.
Moana is undoubtedly one of Disney's finest presentations. It is rich, relatable and at the same time magical. It sways you with love and emotions and leaves you feeling happy, content and hopeful in the end. The film is all about young aspirations, true calling, courage and curiosity.
This inspirational new age princess film a magical ride, till it's very last frame.
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