by JESSICA MARK
Moana is Disney’s most recent animation released in theatres; it was released on November 23, 2016. The motion picture features the voice talents of Dwayne Johnson, Nicole Scherzinger, and Auli’i Cravalho.
Moana´s plot stars the main character, Moana, and her efforts to save an island from disaster. She sets out on a voyage to find the once powerful demi-god, Maui, as he is ordered to help return the village to its natural state. He aids her in becoming a master wayfinder, and ultimately restoring peace to the ocean islands, while also helping Moana discover her sense of purpose.
The movie primarily takes place on the ocean and Moana’s home island in the South Pacific as well. Her village itself is shown beautifully with vivid mountainous landscapes. While the main setting itself may seem barren, the scenery and character interactions help it thrive.
Moana and Maui are character foils, and their interactions aid in offering humor and entertainment. The two also add conflict to the plot, with their contrasting goals and mindsets, the pot is bound to stir into a few action packed scenes. While the film offers both action and comedy, it is not afraid to delve into serious, and even sorrowful moments between scenes.
The animation and art direction is phenomenal. Disney never fails to impress with their film’s massive attention to detail, pleasant character designs, and beautiful worldbuilding. The animators put every inch of their focus into creating a film that is more than pleasing to the eye.
Moreover, I commend the fact that Disney exposed a vast audience to Hawaiian culture. It is enjoyable to see diversity in mainstream media, especially in the form of a Disney film. The film’s premise of exploring Hawaiian culture allows viewers to be educated on customs they may not understand. When the Disney tradition of a white female princess is repeated time after time, it definitely proves to be trite. That is not to say all Disney traditions are cliche, of course. The studio always prides itself with its films various musical numbers, and Moana is no exception.
The film is composed by musical talents such as, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina, and Opetaia Foa’i. The songs and music scores featured in Moana are absolutely beautiful, and I find myself singing them from time to time.
Overall, the film in it’s entirety is absolutely stunning and entertaining to watch. It proves why Disney is the powerhouse in the animation business, and for good reason too. The movie is definitely not one to sleep on, and I highly recommended if you enjoy animated films or not.