Movie Review: Moana


In the film world, the name "Disney" is synonymous with innovative movies. Although Moana is very colorful, and has some catchy songs, it a film that is easy to forget after you exit the theater.

Moana (voiced by newcomer Auli'i Cravalho) has always felt the call of the ocean. She lives on an island with her family, who is essentially the island royalty, and they fully expect her to become leader once she comes of age. Her grandmother, however, informally known as the island "crazy person," encourages her to listen to her heart, and fulfill her dreams. When the coconuts and fish supply start drying up around the island, Moana knows it's because of the legend of Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) and actions that he took many, many years ago, and she takes it upon herself to find Maui and make everything right again, for the sake of the islanders; who she finds, however, ends up being not entirely what she expected.

The voice cast in this movie was great, and the film itself was very colorful - that being said, I wouldn't recommend it for very young children because of some scary elements (my age recommendation would maybe be ages 6 or 7+). Dwayne Johnson was funny as Maui, the man behind the legend, and Cravalho was especially good as Moana. I didn't know that the film was a musical before I saw it, too, and she (and also Johnson, surprisingly) sing many songs throughout. The voice cast on IMDb is actually very short, as this is mostly a one-woman show (or one man and one woman show, technically - Moana and Maui), and we don't spend much time on the island since Moana is off on her quest for most of the movie.

Yes, see this film. I saw it in 2D but I'm betting that seeing it in 3D would be fantastic - the "cinematography" is beautiful here, and the movie is very colorful. The songs were also very good, but there weren't any that stuck in my mind the next day. I'm not entirely sure what age group(s) Disney was aiming for here, because younger children will like the colorfulness of the film, but there are certain parts throughout that might be too scary for them. My recommendation is to see Moana but at a matinee, rather than paying full price for it.

Moana is in theaters today, November 23rd, and is rated PG with a runtime of 103 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.


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