Moana is the 56th Disney animated feature film. It’s directed by the fantastic Ron Clements and John Musker, and co-directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams. It’s got a screenplay by Jared Bush, with story by; Ron Clements, John Musker, Chris Williams, Don Hall, Pamela Ribon, Aaron Kandell, and Joran Kandell. The music is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. It features the voices of Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk. The film is about Moana, the daughter of a chief who is chosen by the ocean to reunite a magic stone to the goddess it was stolen from, she and Maui work to save her people.
The good; the characters are so strong. Moana’s motivations are wonderfully communicated both visually and musically, the film grants her the right amount of screen time to encapsulate and grab the audience. Then there’s the demi-god Maui, his motivations and character are communicated just as effectively. Character and story is paramount in this movie, then the visuals are added to amplify the story, wonderful job.
The movie has amazing visuals. The Polynesian islands look wonderful as our characters travel through them as well as the ocean. Advances in technology are clearly evident in the rendering of water and hair.
It’s also a musical. All these wonderful aspects come together beautifully in that wonderful Disney way.
The bad; can’t think of anything at the moment. Usually this is where I rant about our terrible the audience is… but there was barely a peep heard in the audience. That’s a testament to how much this film grabs you and transports you to another world.
Overall, go see this film in the theatres. Moana will capture you and transport you to another place and time. The film is visually beautiful and wonderfully scripted, it’s really got something for everyone in the family. Moana is also directed by the duo of Ron Clements and John Musker, they gave us classics like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, join them in their first computer animated movie.
PS. Eric Goldberg did the hand drawn animated sequences.