Review: Moana

When I saw the trailer for this movie I wasn’t completely impressed with it. But then I heard from other people that it was a really good movie so we decided to watch it. At first glance it is a great Disney film. When you start to think about the story and the lessons it teaches, it just doesn’t impress me that much. Don’t get me wrong, it is a really good movie. It just doesn’t have that special something that movies like Inside Out, Up, Wall.e and Toy Story have.

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The movie is very well executed and beautifully crafted but the story is simple and predictable. Disney has a recipe and they certainly follow this recipe for every single one of their “princess films”. Every film has:

1. A young hero
2. A sidekick
3. A villain
4. Lots of magic
5. The young hero grows up or changes for the better
6. Bravery
7. Death in the family
8. True love

Number eight is the only one Moana doesn’t have and I commend them for not giving Moana a love interest. I am a huge fan of true love but the focus of these films should be to empower and teach children.

The main character Moana doesn’t sing more than three different songs. I wish she sang more because that’s what I look forward to with Disney films. From the beginning of Moana’s journey she kept on saying “I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat and restore the heart to Te Fiti.” It gave me flashbacks of Princess Bride. I think they should have been more original with that part of the movie.

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There are things that I do love about the film. The artwork is absolutely flawless. The scenes pulled me into the movie and created a perfect immersive fantasy. The songs helped create this fantasy. The soundtrack is spectacular (and like I mentioned before, I wish there were more). I love how the ending didn’t involve violence. Moana showed compassion and empathy, the two important skills to teach children.

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This movie would have been fantastic if they just broke out of the Disney mold. It would have been refreshing to see something different from Disney this time around. I can’t wait for the next Disney princess film and I’m hoping that they think outside the box for that one.

Audience: PG
Satisfaction Factor: 8
Acting: 10
Story: 9
Direction: 10
Would I recommend: Yes

*Note: Based on a scale from 1 to 10. 1 being the worst and 10 being the best you could get in a category.

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