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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

MOANA: A Disney Film Review

Hello everyone!
Last Friday I went and saw my most highly anticipated film of the entire year, Moana!
After being initially drawn in by the heavy influence of the polynesian culture, the all round bright tropical paradise appearance, cute colourful characters and of course Dwayne Johnson I was itching to see it. And boy it did not disappoint!

Without giving too much away, Moana is about a young daughter of the Chief of a Polynesian tribe who sets sail on a journey across the ocean with the demi god Maui to rescue his magic hook and restore the 'heart of Te Fiti' which is a stone that has the power to create life. She is initially chosen by the ocean to be the person who embarks on this adventure and after the island that Moana, her family and the tribe live on starts to turn to darkness and die out, she sets off on the journey with Maui and Heihei and with the blessing of her Grandmother to restore the heart and bring life back to the islands.
Before seeing the film I had stalked the instagram of Auli'i Cravalho the voice of Moana and noticed her videos of the behind the scenes of the film. I decided to Youtube this before I saw the film and it made me appreciate it even more. The video shows the voice actresses/actors performing their parts, the recordings of the orchestra and singers for the wonderful soundtrack, the research and inspiration that heavily inspired the film and showing the basic storyboard up to the final character designs. The amount of skill, background research and attention to detail that the Disney company have done really shows in the film and makes me appreciate it that little bit more. It was also really interesting to see all these behind the scenes moments come to life in the film. Watch it HERE.

One of the main characters in the film is actually the ocean, although it doesn't speak it is almost personified in a way. It initially shows Moana as a toddler (SO cute btw!) and her interaction with the ocean and then as she is a older how it interacts with the characters and how it plays a role in not only the journey of the film but a role in who she is as a person. The ocean also is the one who gives her the heart of Te Fiti and basically chooses her to be the one who goes on this quest to restore the heart.


Visually the film is absolutely stunning! I was completely blown away by the design and the animation of everything. The scenery looks completely breathtaking and the different visual shots of both the islands and the ocean was beautiful as well as the detail of the characters was just incredible, even the little things like eyelashes to the likes of clothing and tribal tattoos. The attention to detail was just astonishing.





Although the film shows other characters too, I'd say overall really Moana and Maui are the main characters closely followed by Hei hei the chicken (although doesn't speak and is just for comical relief, he ends up going along on the adventure too) and the Grandmother. Although I was slightly disappointed that Pua the pig didn't go along too, it would have been good to have had it along for the ride as well, but I think that's just me being swayed by the fact Pua is so adorable and wanted to see more of it.

The thing I enjoyed about Moana as well was her character, she comes across very determined, brave, family orientated, couragous and understands her responsibility within the tribe to provide for them and come up with solutions for any problems. One of things that really stood out for me in this day and age is that Moana is a strong, independent woman, which although I do enjoy a Disney happily ever after, I did find it refreshing that the film wasn't based on romance and finding a handsome prince in order to be happy and fulfilled. Not that I don't enjoy a budding romance in Disney films, I did however like the fact the film focused more on a friendship, the adventure and following your dreams and finding who you are instead. Which is still classic of Disney. And personally I think the film didn't really need a romantic element to it anyway as it did amazing without it.

I also liked that the film gave you a bit of background story to not just the history of where they live but also to the tribes and Moana's family. That is why I'm trying my hardest not to reveal too much in this post as the film explains a lot of it to you very early on and gives you a good level of understanding for the background and how it relates to the story.

Overall if it wasn't obvious enough I would highly recommend this film, for it's stunning visuals, great storyline complete with wonderful soundtrack, attention to detail as well as loveable characters. It is definitely worth a watch! And trust me, you'll have 'You're Welcome' stuck in your head for the rest of the day too!
Thanks for reading!
If you have also seen the film I'd love to hear what you thought of it below too :)

*Images taken from Google
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