I was very excited for "Moana". I love Lin-Manuel Miranda, so I was really happy to see a Disney musical with some of his music. "Moana" was definitely a good film, but was nowhere near perfect, ultimately falling into narrative redundancy.
I think that it is great for Disney to be adding more minority princesses. "The Princess and the Frog" was a revolutionary film, and in a way, this one is too. I think that it is great for children of all races and ethnicities to have a role model to look up to in film. That being said, I feel like this amazing character deserved a slightly more original story to be done justice. The film basically felt like "Frozen" in Polynesia (but with far better music). Don't get me wrong, it's still a really good film overall, but it doesn't necessarily compare against the social commentary that Disney has been pumping out recently. There is also one sequence in the film that doesn't make much sense in context. It's pretty annoying. The song is horrible (and it was one of the ones not written by Miranda). The genre of the song completely changed from the rest of the soundtrack, changing the whole mood of the scene and making it feel unnatural.
The animation of the film is great, as can be expected from Disney films. What impressed me most was the ability of the animators to show emotion from the water. It was really impressive. The voice acting was also great. I thought that Auli'i Cravalho did a very good job of showing emotion in her voice, and I thought that her performance was very convincing. Dwayne Johnson also did well in his role, offering good comedic relief. I thought that the animal companion, Hei Hei was one of the funniest parts of the film, and was voiced by Alan Tudyk, one of the most talented, diverse voice actors in the business.
So overall, I liked "Moana". It's well-made, but it isn't great because it isn't very original. The music is great for the most part, though, and kids are sure to enjoy the animation and the story.
Big Tuna's Rating: B
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.