It may not have any political texture to its credit like Zootopia, but Moana from Disney is a cheerful animated movie that has enough to entertain you with its well structured story and a narration that has practical humor. With an engagingly paced screenplay getting the right mix of music and wits, Moana offers a joyful theater experience.
Moana of Motunui is our central protagonist. She has heard this legend from her grandmother about this demigod named Maui. Maui lost his magical fishhook along with the heart of Te Fiti (a goddess) in his attempt to give that heart to humans. Moana is apparently the chosen one who sea believes that has the potential to make Maui go to Te Fiti and place the heart in the right place. As Moana’s island started to face troubles due to the lack of necessary food materials and other stuff, she decides to break her father’s order of not going in to the open sea. The movie is about the adventurous journey of Moana to find Maui and Te Fiti.
Like I said, it follows the typical animated movie story idea of rise of the underdog or the exploration of the restricted. So you are not in for a totally different animated movie experience. But still, Moana has enough stuff to crack you up. Post Maui it is mostly giggling fun, but after they introduce the Dwayne Johnsonish Maui, the amount humor the writers have managed squeeze in is pretty high and I guarantee you that you will laugh out loud for all that. It has these smartly written real life references like the dialogue “if you use a bird to write it’s called tweeting” and several other things Maui says to his Tattoos. All these little bits offer a lot of moments of laughter. While the narrative isn’t much surprising, makers keep us occupied with the depth of the visuals and also the frequent musical feel.
Ron Clements and John Musker make sure that it isn’t a preachy go and chase your dreams kind of a movie in a visual level. The kind of humor they embed in conversations helps the story in being less preachy verbally. Even those cheesy segments get warmth because of the visual illustrations along with the musical narration they have created. The screenplay manages to derive that correct balancing between being the quintessential kids film along with content that will absorb the adults as well. No issues with the animation quality, in fact I loved some of the choreographed lengthy sequences. The tunes were catchy. Auli’I Cravalho sounds good as Moana and Dwayne Johnson was damn cool in being Maui (Was motion capture involved in the making?)
So, Moana is simple and adorable. It has a story with multiple conflicts and a narrative that is engaging enough. With even minimal characters like Heihei and Pua managing to stay in our hearts, this one is that joyful popcorn entertainer animation movie you won’t regret watching.
Moana is simple and adorable. It has a story with multiple conflicts and a narrative that is engaging enough.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended