Movie Review: Moana

by Emily Lombardi

To say I was excited to see Moana, the new Disney animated movie, is an understatement. I had been following the process of bringing Moana to the big screen for months, because of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda, creator of Broadway hits Hamilton and In The Heights, had signed on to write the music for the new movie. The music itself is enough to make you watch the film, from the lyrics he wrote for You’re Welcome, Dwayne Johnson’s song, to Auli’i Cravalho’s beautiful power songs. The music is lively and fun and provides a great background to the rest of the movie.

Moana tells the story of a teenage girl and daughter of the chief of a South Pacific island. Her father has forbidden her from straying beyond the reef, but Moana is drawn to the ocean. When the crops and village start to die, Moana’s grandmother informs her of the tales of the darkness that is ruining their island, and her family’s long history of sailing and wayfinding. To save her island, she must team up with famous demigod Maui, an arrogant shapeshifter who she must convince to help her. After teaming up, they must face a series of challenges to save the island.

Overall, I loved this movie. The animation was incredible. Everything from Maui’s tattoos on his chest to the dozens of water scenes was stunning. It was incredibly accurate and the quality of the animation caught my eye the moment the movie started. I also loved Moana. She was fiery and and smart and independent, a big contrast from the usual Disney princess. Although it still had the same qualities as the typical Disney movie (animal sidekick, catchy songs, etc.), I truly enjoyed it and felt that it was original. Even though I don’t think it got the same hype that Frozen did, it is definitely a must see.

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