Make way, make way for Disney's first computer generated animated foray into the Polynesian islands, mythology and culture (although not the first animated foray - that goes to Lilo and Stitch!) to the island of Motonui, and its future chief Moana; a young woman who feels a call to the ocean (not surprising as her name literally means 'ocean') and is tasked with finding the demigod Maui, restoring the stolen heart of Te Fiti, and in doing so re-establish the natural ecological harmony, rediscover her voyaging heritage and save her people.
Just an average mission for any sixteen-year-old girl, am I right?
Directed by Disney stalwarts John Musker and Ron Clements, Moana is gorgeous, vibrant and dazzling; the characters are interesting and relatable, the almost entirely Polynesian cast are fantastic and the music.... you do not need to get me started on the music! The soundtrack is a delight from start to finish. Lin-Manuel Miranda really is a shiny treasure fit for the shell of Tamatoa. Moana is a Disney Princess for all to aspire to be like. Auli'i Cravalho is such a revelation in this movie. Her voice belies her young years (lest we forget, she was just 14-years-old when cast, and 15 when performing!)
Sure, Moana has issues and I'd be remiss not to mention Disney's attempts to be inclusive and culturally sensitive, despite having an Oceanic Story Trust to advise on cultural sensitivity, have backfired for some Pacific Islanders on the depictions of Maui and the Kakamora, but on the whole Moana is a JOY. It's the best movie Disney have released in the last 20 years, despite it being trounced by its Disney stable-mate Zootopia at awards season.... (Zootopia is great, but I prefer Moana, personally)
I am a girl who loves my island. I am the girl who loves the sea. Moana calls me.
Here's the link to Lindsay Ellis' YouTube video essay on Pocahontas, where she compares it to Moana.
I would love to hear your thoughts on Moana!
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Thank you to all the patrons Simon E, Sade, Jardiel, Claudia, Simon B, Laurel, Derek, Jason, Kristin, Cat, Andy, Mike and Griff!
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Theme Music: Verbal Diorama Theme Song
Music by Chloe Enticott - Compositions by Chloe Facebook
Lyrics by Chloe Enticott (and me!)
Production by Ellis Powell-Bevan of Ewenique Studios.
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