Monday, December 5, 2016

Moana Review

Maybe I'm biased because I haven't watched many movies lately, but I think Moana is right up there with Meet The Robinsons and The Emperor's New Groove when it comes to freshness and emotional clout.

It definitely isn't the best or most original Disney movie ever made, it's just refreshing to see something with a different setting and plot than usual.

The Story: Moana, destined to be the chief of her island tribe, joins the arrogant demigod Maui on a quest to save the world. They are accompanied by a chicken.

Good or Bad: The story was compelling, and I actually cried towards the beginning (hehe yes, animated movies definitely get to me) which is unusual for me at that stage of a film. So it definitely packs emotional punch, and through the whole story I found myself rooting for Moana and even the annoying Maui. 

The main thing that I liked about the movie was that it just felt different from the other 3D animated Disney movies--Frozen, for example. It's set in a tropical environment, and the main characters aren't the usual unrealistically skinny Disney characters. There's no love interest. The animal sidekicks are occasionally viewed as food. The plot is a quest story rather than a character-driven drama. 

And the animation was amazing. I noticed it especially when water was dripping off of Moana's skin.
It was amazingly realistic and it made me wonder how long it took to create just one scene like that, much less a whole movie.

There are some hilarious lines and genuinely funny slapstick humor sprinkled through the movie, which made it a lot of fun to watch. Also, Moana's parents are alive--what a shock!

Finally, the music. Lin-Manuel Miranda cowrote the music.

I'll say that again: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the same guy who wrote Hamilton, the musical that I've been referencing in pretty much every blog post and conversation, cowrote. That's the main reason that I wanted to see this movie, honestly.

Needless to say, the music was fantastic. At first I had trouble not comparing it to Hamilton's music, but now that I'm listening to it on Spotify I really like it. There are several full-out musical numbers, the best being "Where You Are" and "You're Welcome."Hamilton

For those who like going into detail about such things, the music plays with unusual chord changes, which are some of the things I really like about Hamilton's music. The major songs drop occasionally to minor chords, which adds tension so it doesn't all sound like Muppets music. I'm sure that happens in other Disney music too, but I noticed it particularly in this film.
Definitely on my list of favorite celebrities

 Dad and I are so into Hamilton right now that when we heard Lin-Manuel's voice come in on one of the songs, we looked at each other in the light of the movie screen and grinned. Good times.

Favorite lines:

"If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess."

"I'm his mom. I don't have to tell him anything."

"Boat snack!"

If you've seen Moana, what did you think of it? Which Disney movie is your favorite?

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