Moana (I) (2016)

PG   |    |  Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Moana (2016) Poster

In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches Moana's island, she answers the Ocean's call to seek out the Demigod to set things right.




  • Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho in Moana (2016)
  • Auli'i Cravalho in Moana (2016)
  • Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho in Moana (2016)
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda at an event for Moana (2016)
  • Auli'i Cravalho at an event for Moana (2016)
  • Dwayne Johnson in Moana (2016)

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4 January 2017 | loganholley
| Typical Disney fare
EDIT: Fixed a couple of grammatical errors, elaborated a bit in one section.

Let me be honest with you: there have only really been 3 Disney movies in this year and 10 years included and before it that really made me go "Wow! They DIDN'T just pull another Disney here". I say that very rarely because Disney has a particular formula that they know works and will give them loads of money... and BOY do they use it allot. If you don't believe me, think for a second: besides Wreck it Ralph, Zootopia, and Big Hero 6, what other PURE Disney (in no association with Pixar) animated movies HAVEN'T had numerous musical numbers, a female lead, a male supporting role, a comedic relief character, and some big journey to stop something bad from happening to the place that the main character lives in?

I know it sounds oddly specific, but it's been played so many times by Disney that's actually more mundane at this point. You've seen in in allot of their hits, and by the next, you probably go into the theater telling yourself the same thing as the last: "I'm ready for the new masterpiece!". Moana is just another one of these films. Is it well written? Yes! Is it culturally diverse? Why would it not be? Is the animation beautiful and breathtaking at moments? Again, the answer is a resounding YES. While all those things are a saving grace for the film, the biggest issue I have in my mind with it is that I will probably forget it's existence in the years to come, Oscar, Golden Globe, WHATEVER, or not! Moana is excellently produced, but none of that matters to me when the writing and overall story arc basically amount to clichés that have been beaten to death already. "Oh," I can hear you saying, "but they mock those cliches, therefore it's original!" Satire and self-loathing have been around for years. When it comes to the former, there's a line between making fun of something and indulging in the exact thing you're aiming to mock. Moana dives head first into the latter.

Listen, if you LOVE Disney and couldn't give a Rat's Tail about these clichés, go ahead and go see the film, you'll probably love it because it's Disney. That said, however, if you DO care for more than a small amount of originality like I do, then maybe it's worth a rental, but that's about it. Again, Moana is excellently produced and will most likely leave a smile on your face... but it's also a convincing case study for all the clichés Disney has been stuffing into their films as of late.

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