“Moana” another hit from Disney

By Megan Wimsatt and By Megan Wimsatt

“Moana” has a number of factors that all mix into one beautiful film. The main factor that allowed all of it to happen was the amount of research of Polynesian culture and collaboration with the Oceanic Trust that was done. 

“Moana” is about a Polynesian girl named Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) who sails across the ocean to find the demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) in an attempt to save her island from destruction. The duo encounter a number of hurdles on their journey, including pirates called Kakamora, a giant crab called Tamatoa and the lava demon Te Ka.  

The script is very well crafted. Written by Jared Bush, “Moana” covered the theme of being true to yourself, as well as knowing your responsibilities but keeping what you love to do in your mind. There’s enough conflict, humor, tearful moments and adventure packed into the film to keep viewers entertained. 

Moana’s character specifically is extremely well written. She’s strong, and recognizes her duty as the chief’s daughter to be there for her people. Moana also has a love for the sea and refuses to abandon it for that duty though, allowing her to balance both sides. Moana isn’t super skinny like most Disney princesses as well. Maui also has a bigger build, but doesn’t fall into “fat stereotypes.” Moana also doesn’t have a love interest in the film, which is a nice and welcome addition.

The characters aren’t the only highlight of the film. The animation itself is beautiful. From the water, to Moana’s hair, to Maui’s tattoos, I was never unimpressed with the work that went into the film. Everything moved super realistically, and it gave the movie a huge sense of realness that I haven’t gotten from an animated Disney film in a while. Sometimes animation can only project a certain amount of reality to it, but “Moana” dropped a boat ton of it, even with the fantasy aspects.

The music is also brilliant. Composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina, the score set the perfect backdrop for “Moana.” Both the lyrical songs and the instrumental songs fit the tone of the film perfectly. The drums, woodwinds, and occasional background vocals added a spirit to the film that kept the action going. The lyrics are catchy too. I saw the film almost a week ago and I haven’t stopped singing the music in my head.  

If my word isn’t enough to go see “Moana,” the $81.1 million at its holiday box office opening should be. Oh, and be sure to stay for the after credits scene.