User Reviews (381)

  • pailoong6 December 2016
    5/10
    Cookie-cutter, albeit beautiful, slice of Disney cheese
    Warning: Spoilers
    Tell me if you've seen this movie:

    Princess wants to do something a parent doesn't want her to do. Close friend/relative inspires her to be/do it anyway. Princess meets wacky sidekick. Prince and wacky sidekick don't get along but are forced to work together. Princess and wacky sidekick bond. Conflict happens and princess and wacky sidekick part ways. Princess continues on. Wacky sidekick shows up out of nowhere to help princess. Princess and wacky sidekick win, become friends forever. Parent realizes they were wrong, encourages princess to be/do whatever.

    I felt like I already knew the plot to this film because I had seen it 100 times before. Why didn't I rate it lower? Because it's visually stunning. The style of this film is very unique and I like the way they wove Samoan artistic sense into it. I found myself mesmerized at the water effects and the animals more than anything else.

    Fun for kids, but nothing you haven't seen before.
  • snperera8 February 2017
    9/10
    what a delight!
    Wow, what a great great movie! The visuals in this movie are breathtaking!! They are so gorgeous! But, besides the visuals there is such a heart and imagination and creativity to this movie. Moana is such a likable, smart, and relatable person. the voice work for Moana is so sweet and so good. The chemistry between Moana and Maui is so great and so natural. The songs in this movie are so charming, catchy and fun! But, How Far I'll Go is such an emotional song and it has such heart...I dare say I like it a little more than Let It Go! The way Moana sings it and you can feel it!! Wow, I just looved this movie and it is great for kids and adults. I will always love it and I wanna see it again!
  • Andreas Karmiotis5 March 2017
    9/10
    Beautiful in every sense, Moana will soften even the hardest of hearts
    Moana is a return to the classic Disney formula, the clichés and characters ripped from a number of other animated films. However, the pure beauty and skill of the production rises the old story into new heights.

    Following from the success of Zootropolis, Moana follows a more traditional narrative we know and love; the princess who wishes for something more and is whisked on a supernatural adventure. We know this story so well yet Moana seems fresh and thrilling as if the plot was innovative. Perhaps this is due to the Polynesian setting or the morally ambiguous Maui, played perfectly by Dwayne Johnson, but most likely it is it the simple magic of Disney – the wonder for both children and adults has reached its peak with the perfection of the classic formula. For once, the clichés make the film more enjoyable. The quality of the animation helps too: it's clear they have reached the pinnacle of blending realistic textures with stylised designs, creating an aesthetic beauty that few other companies can match – Disney have mastered water to the point it looks better animated than in real life! Even the music has been perfected here, the annoying catchiness of Frozen's tunes replaced by memorable but effective songs that fit the culture and setting of our adventure. A childlike warmth was awakened in me and many other adult members of the audience as the film brought the emotional highs of the Disney renaissance without the modern subversion of the classic tropes. While Moana sometimes threatens this with pop culture references, the film thankfully keeps to mostly traditional values and morals; a step above many children's animated films released today.

    Moana is good, old fashioned Disney magic; the traditional narrative and morals updated with stellar animation and an awareness that's effective but never overpowering enough to threaten the integrity of the Disney formula.

    SWEET

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  • A_Different_Drummer5 December 2016
    10/10
    I know that chicken ... I voted for him .... TWICE!
    Instant classic.

    Easily ranks among the best from the Disney Studio, and a very worthy successor to Mulan 1998, a similar story equally well done.

    Oddly also seems to be best work ever from Dwayne Johnson, perhaps not the first name I would have associated with "voice acting," but a star turn nonetheless.

    If you want to be picky -- which is the reviewer's job, after all -- the momentum slows a little at the top of the third act, but the ultimate themes of redemption, forgiveness and self-discovery at the finale are an absolute joy.

    As they used to say, "for children of all ages."
  • Matt_Layden3 January 2017
    8/10
    You're Welcome.
    2016 has been a particularly strong year for animated films. With the likes of Zootopia, Finding Dory and Kubo & The Two Strings all vying for best animated picture of the year, it seems Moana deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as well. It's no fluke that out of the four movies I just mentioned, 3 of them belong under the house of the mouse.

    Legend has it that demigod Maui stole a sacred stone, the heart of the goddess Te Fiti. The lava demon confronted him and both the heart and Maui were lost forever. Now, the world is slowly dying and someone must find the heart and force Maui to put it back. But who is this chosen one? It might be Moana, a Polynesian girl who is suppose to be taking over as chief of her tribe, but longs to sail beyond the reef. Featuring new comer Auli'i Carvalho as Moana and the most electrifying man in sports entertainment, Dwayne 'The Rock" Johnson, as the demigod Maui.

    It's not surprising that I found myself tapping my feet to the songs in this film because Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton, shares his talent with this film. I can easily see any one of the songs in this piece going up for and winning Best Original Song, giving the man the O in the prestigious PEGOT award circle. He currently has a Pulitzer, Emmy, Tony and Grammy, among more. The songs here remind me of the old-school Disney songs, easy to listen to, fun to play on repeat and important to the story. At first, I felt it was a little too on the nose with some of the lyrics, but eventually he won me over and I've been listening to the soundtrack ever since.

    The film itself might lack some of the intricacies of plot heavy films like Zootopia, but this journey story is entertaining and heartfelt. The vibrant colours of the green islands and the blue sea help propel the film above and beyond what some others films have to offer. The animation takes a nice little turn for the creative when the characters find themselves under the sea in a side villains lair. We are treated with some bioluminescent sequences with another catchy tune not far behind.

    Johnson is stellar as Maui, he seems completely comfortable in a voice acting role and surprisingly has the chops to sing a tune. Newcomer Auli'i Carvalho holds her own against a star like Johnson and she really gives a strong voice to a driven female character. I applaud that Disney didn't feel the need to shoehorn in a love story either. This is a tale about self discovery, not some young woman needing to find a man. Disney nods and respects their past while looking to the future with Moana. Princesses no longer need to be the 'love' goal of a man.

    Moana is a visually beautiful film with great songs and a strong female lead character. There are some visually gags for the kids and a great time for adults. Moana is a great film.
  • Julius Light27 February 2017
    9/10
    refreshingly Polynesian
    From the opening lyrics to the final shot, Moana was a fun glimpse into Polynesian life. Reminds me of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron with its depiction of tribal peoples, people who depend on the land and environment to live. As one of the several catchy songs say, the island gives them everything they need. No need to go beyond the reef.

    I'm glad that Moana and Zootopia, Disney's two most recent feature films, humorously refer to the archetypal Disney traits that appear in film after film -- i.e. an animal sidekick, the heroine bursting into song, following your dreams. Even if they do year after year, it never gets old. (... Well, maybe a little bit. I'm actually jaded by the happy ending trope in practically every work of film, literature, etc. out there. But that's beside the point.) Even if you can predict the ending of Moana, it's not quite what you expected. Disney has recently been changing things up a bit and having creative endings. Frozen, for example. Even if they weren't slightly creative, the story still enacts the Disney magic -- the ability to inspire, motivate, uplift, and ultimately enlighten further on mankind's communal desire to go beyond the norm. You don't have to do something amazing to make a name for yourself. It's not the hook that defines you, it's what you do that defines you and makes you who you are. Just don't follow hard tradition all the time. If someone says you can't achieve your dreams, he/she is most likely right. HOWEVER. That's only true if you don't give it your all. Those right now who are living their dreams gave it their all. If it's something you really want, after all, then naturally you'll give it the necessary effort and force of will. It won't be easy; life wasn't meant to be easy.

    It's not as amazing as Zootopia, but Moana is still a genuinely good Disney movie. It has a superb single, a nice accompanying soundtrack, great characters, sublime animation with crystal- clear attention to detail, and wonderful themes and messages. I admit, I was expecting too much from Moana after seeing Zootopia, which is probably why I give Moana a 9. Zootopia hits the 10. If you haven't seen either one, I recommend seeing Moana first.
  • hennyxu21 February 2017
    8/10
    A Fun Movie (must watch)
    Henny's Movie Review: Moana (aka Vaiana)

    In three words: A Fun Movie.

    With Pixar dropping the ball lately it is good to see that Disney is picking it up with great movies like, Tangled, Zootopia and now Moana. Yes, they made a mediocre over-hyped movie named Frozen, read my previous review for my thoughts about that movie. Moana really doesn't disappoint it has a good pacing, a great cast, and it is BEAUTIFUL. I could just leave my review at this and tell you to go and watch this movie, but let's see "How Far I'll Go".

    Moana is a story that takes place in Ancient Polynesia, when a curse reaches the island Mata Nui a chieftain's daughter is determined to go on a journey, to find a demigod named Maui in order to stop the curse.

    Like most Disney movies this is a coming of age story. Moana is a chieftain's daughter who is struggling with her love for her people and her love for the ocean. She is determined and a strong character. It is wonderful to see her grow and find herself throughout the movie. She is voiced by Auli'I Cravaljo and it fits like a glove, perfect love her accent.

    Moana is joined by a demigod named Maui. He starts out as an egotistical/funny character but we quickly learn why and see him change for the better. He is voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and if you know The Rock YOU know what to expect. You can never go wrong with The Rock.

    Other supporting characters were there to setup the plot and exposition.

    The music, as expected, was typically Disney which is a good thing because I love Disney songs. After the movie you just can't get it out of your head. All the scores were very good. It did the basics like underscoring a scene but it also carried the movie for a huge part.

    The three-act-structure. Moana has a great beginning, good middle, and a great ending. Furthermore, the pacing of this movie is fast in a good way. It doesn't hold on to a scene for too long and the movie knows when to cut.

    The cinematography was beautiful it really shows that the creators have done their research. I love the bright colors and gorgeous sceneries. It would appear that Disney's new approach to movie making is starting to pay-off, by remaking their old animated movies into real-life and mocking their old movies with their new 3d-animated movies, they are breathing new life into their movies. As aforementioned in the introduction Moana is a must see movie that won't disappoint.

    I give this movie a 8.5.
  • ironhorse_iv8 March 2018
    7/10
    2016's 'Moana' is worth watching! It's a luau of a movie!
    Warning: Spoilers
    Set on the Polynesian islands of the South Pacific. 2016's 'Moana', explore the expedition of a young woman, Moana (Voiced by Auli'i Cravalho), who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical life-breathing relic with an island goddess, Te Fiti, when it was stolen by the Demigod Maui (Voiced by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson). Without spoiling this fictional movie written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, too much; though the film heavily influenced by Polynesian's history, myths, & culture, it is not directly based on any specific native tribe like the 1926's documentary film of the same name. Instead, the film takes specific cultural elements from a variety of native Pacific groups and incorporates them into one generalized portrayal of Polynesian culture, in order to make the audience member to identity the story better. Because of that, certain critics has accuse Disney of cultural misappropriation & exploitation, suitable to spur a profitable capitalist enterprise of music, celebrities and merchandise. While, this is somewhat true. I don't think, Disney had much of a choice. They had to avoid setting off cultural taboos. It was lose-lose catch 22 situation. Somebody was bound to get offended, regardless. However, I don't think, this musical is as degrading as certain people make it out to be. It's pretty harmless, compare to other tropical musicals like 1958's 'South Pacific' whom portray its island people as ugly snake oil-sellers, hags who gives give away their really young daughters to military servicemen to screw. If anything, 'Moana' gives a more positive light. Still, some of the characters of the film were drawn, very insensitive. Maui did look like an obese "half pig half hippo" man. He did look kinda offensive. Still, much of that blame, come from the Walt Disney Animation Studios animators trying to lighten their load, by replicate the same awkward-looking art style that their 2002's animation film 'Lilo & Stich' was doing, over 14 years ago. Even back then, not a lot of people were fans of the big nose, the huge tights, oddly body structure, and alien-like eyes, type of a drawing for islanders. So, I really don't know, why they try to copy it. I guess, they wanted to focus more on other drawings like the supernatural elements designs. Even with that, those drawings also felt a little too familiar. If anything, the spirits looks like Disney recycling artwork that was previous, used in films like 2000's 'Fantasia 2000' & 2014's 'Lava'. As for animal sidekicks. As much as I love Hei Hei (Voiced by Alan Tudyk) & Pua. They really weren't needed. It did felt, unneeded animation. Despite that, at least, the island CGI background visuals for 'Moana' were breath-taking beautiful. There is no better example of that, then the 'Where you are' & 'We Know the Way', musical sequences. The other visuals like the action sequences, were equally done well. I just wish this Polynesian Prometheus/Odyssey-like fantasy story was told a little better to match the visuals. The action scenes in this film seem a bit force. Plus, it doesn't make much sense. After all, I get that, Moana was chosen by the water spirit; because how much, she cares about aquatic-life, but it doesn't explain, why the supernatural entity couldn't just do the task, itself. Nor does it explain why, the ocean tries to kill Moana with storms, sea-monsters, and lead them into conflicts with sea raiders, in the course of the film. Did the demigod actions make the ocean, bio-polar, as well? Also, what was the point of even having Maui around? He really doesn't do much; besides put Moana in danger. Let's not overlook that Maui also tried to kill Moana by locking her in a cave to die & trying to drown her in the middle of the ocean. Hero!? He's more like the villain. Another thing about the story, is that much of the flashbacks, book-reading and dream cave sequences could had been cut down in editing. All of them, felt a little too much like filler. The movie tends to repeat itself, multiply times; explaining, how Moana's people were, once- island voyagers, before Maui, cause the ocean to become too dangerous; despite the fact, the ocean, somewhat helps them. All the exposition dump come across, tiresome and very jarring. Another thing, that hurts the movie is the fact that the story of a young native princess tries to break free from the strict confines of her society by seeking out, a mysterious stranger in order to save her land, sounds a little too familiar. After all, we seen heroine's adventures like this, before, in half a dozen, Walt Disney Animation Studios films like 1995's 'Pocahontas'. Even acclaim Pixar films like 2012's 'Brave' had these well-worn elements. Don't get me wrong, it's doesn't make 'Moana' into a bad movie, but its presenting nothing, groundbreaking. In the end, this movie in a couple years, might not stand out, as much, as other films from this generation. Despite that, the movie does offer positive messages for younger viewers, about self-discovery and empowerment. And Moana herself is a great role model, demonstrating perseverance, curiosity, and courage, even when face with danger. Cravalho perform her, very well. She is a great singer and has a passable voice. As for Johnson, not so much. His performance was more mediocre, because how dial down, his personality was. However, Johnson does sings one of the catchiest songs in the movie, "You're Welcome"; which is a plus. Besides that song, the funniest song is "Shiny," sung by Jemaine Clement; which also really fun to listen to; along with the power ballad, 'How far I'll go'. All great songs, courtesy of creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. All this music, makes 'Moana' soundtrack, worth listening to. Overall: Although. 'Moana' has many big flaws. It still was entertaining. 'Moana' is truly an adventure worth sailing for. So check it out.
  • krskiff19 March 2017
    6/10
    Visually beautiful, but problems with plot and characterization cause this movie to stumble.
    I have been largely unimpressed with Disney's recent animated movies, and many of my criticisms with them hold true with Moana. Looking back at Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, and Frozen, it seems to me that Disney is more interested in building a visually beautiful world than building a great story. This is true with Moana. The animation is wonderful. The world is gorgeous. The story, however, is rather dull and shallow.

    The world is by design fairly sparse. There aren't a lot of characters in this movie. So to make up for that, the story or the characters need to be particularly compelling. Unfortunately, they aren't.

    Disney breaks no new ground with Moana's story. That isn't new for Disney, and to be fair, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Many good movies are just well-done re-imaginings of classic stories. But Moana isn't even that. At every step of the way, I couldn't shake a feeling that I'd seen it all before. The story never gripped me nor did it leave me feeling fulfilled. Thus, the film just feels empty.

    If either Moana or Maui were engaging characters, this movie could have been good. Despite a good performance from Auli'i Cravalho, Moana had a very small character arc. She was not that different a person at the end of the film than she was at the beginning. For much of the film, she had very little agency of her own. The plot seemed to carry her along, rather than she driving the plot.

    Maui did everything he could to cause the plot to stall. This could have been great, as his antagonistic attempts to stop the main character could have worked as the central conflict. But since Moana is rarely actually trying to move the plot forward, the conflict just seems to be her-vs-him, which is mildly interesting at best.

    It's a shame. Moana could have been such a good movie. But it suffers from the same failings as most recent Disney animated ventures: wonderfully crafted world without a story worthy of that world.
  • Mark Long4 February 2017
    9/10
    Still playing to full theaters
    I saw "Moana" tonight in the local movie theater. I have been wanting to see it since Thanksgiving and expected the audience to be few. To my amazement the cinema was almost full, and I can see why. "Moana" is a fabulous movie--it will certainly leave you crying and smiling. I would imagine most of the folks in the audience now have seen it 3 or 4 times. I served a number of years in the Army in Hawaii, so I was attracted to the movie for that reason, and it was certainly a great movie going experience. The animated graphics capture the magic and beauty of Polynesia, the land and the ocean. And the story is a lot of fun. Highly recommended for all ages.
  • Petros Malousis (roriconfan)28 December 2016
    4/10
    The pay-off is not worth the build-up
    Warning: Spoilers
    So I watched Moana and boy, what a lazy movie it was. So full of good ideas, squandered on a passable family movie. And yes, I know it's Disney making a family movie, but it had all these ideas that would make a great story if they were taken more seriously. The premise of the movie is basically the whole world dying because of what someone did and they treat this catastrophic event as an annoyance instead of something actually serious.

    The protagonist is Moana, an absolutely average Disney princess type of character that wants to say no to being stuck in a life of safety and luxury. We've seen it a thousand times by now, it's nothing that stands out or even something logical in the long run since these types of sheltered characters do not know anything about the outside world and are in effect useless on their own.

    And I have to point this out about her which is one of the many things they didn't bother to clarify. Why is everybody fine with a girl being their leader? Do they have gender equality on this otherwise primitive island? If they do, they never showed it because any other leader we see in their history was a guy. Combined with how she doesn't drown 1 minute after going into the sea with zero experience further proves this movie is empowerment fantasy for little girls instead of a movie where talent and intelligence matter.

    But it's OK because the scriptwriter did his worst to plot armor her from any possible danger. Because you see, the gods chose her to be the one who restores the world, thus every time she falls in water, a magical wave takes her on the boat. When she doubts her abilities, the ghosts of her ancestors appear to motivate her. She is essentially a plot device fully controlled by the plot instead of doing what she wants and facing the repercussions of her mistakes.

    And if you think calling her the chosen one properly excuses all the nonsense, it doesn't because the gods make no sense. Why did they wait a thousand years to do something about a disaster that has killed most of the islands, and of all people why did they choose a little girl with no skills or experience of the outside world? They never explain it.

    Do you know what else they didn't explain? Why her pet pig doesn't grow up. She begins as a little girl and grows up to a teenager, but the damn thing remains a piglet throughout the whole movie. Nobody in the production team gave a damn.

    The problems don't even stop there. The first thing she has to do is find Maui, a demigod who has been stuck on a barren island for a thousand years and is the only person who can save the world. He is also the one who doomed it, so that makes sense. Also, for a guy who spent a millennium all alone without something to eat or do on a tiny island, he sure looked fine when she appeared. Disney went so safe and lazy on him that he is nothing but a cool guy who does cool things and has absolutely no sex drive, or psychological trauma for being left alone all this time.

    Accompanying them on their journey is a retarded chicken. It's the most annoying comic relief animal I have seen in my life. It's not funny, it causes more trouble than aid, and they never eat it although they never seem to have enough food. How the hell did it get on the boat in the first place? Moana didn't take it with her, it just appeared out of nowhere in the secret cave nobody had been in for centuries. Nobody in the production team gave a damn.

    You probably think I am being too harsh on what is supposed to be a dumb movie for kids, when I'm not since they clearly put effort in fleshing out the characters in a way that demands from the story to be better. Moana's father has a good reason for not letting her out in the sea. Maui has a good reason for why he keeps going on adventures and tries to impress the mortals. Even the villain of the movie has a reason for why she is evil. These are really good stuff, and they are ruined by the lazy script.

    If the movie was like that in all its aspects, I wouldn't be bothered by it. But when you set it up in a way that obviously raises the bar like that, the disappointment multiplies when you treat your good ideas like a joke. I can easily sum up all these problems as cheap resolutions. Everything is fixed way too fast despite the problems building up for countless years. The father changed his mind way too fast and lets his daughter sail in the sea, Maui changed his mind and returned to help her without even showing us how, and the goddess forgives Maui instantly, despite causing her pain and suffering for a thousand years, as well as wiping out the life of countless islands and filling the sea with monsters. Hell, even the disease that was slowly killing the islands went away in a few seconds despite spreading slowly for centuries.

    This movie is so freaking lazy. The pay-off is not worth the build-up, its ideas are not used properly, and all you end up getting is a generic Disney princess and a retarded chicken.
  • Westmoney12 April 2017
    7/10
    Eeeesh...
    Warning: Spoilers
    Oh... my... word...

    A girl wants to go where her dad won't let her, wants to do what her dad won't let her. Hmm.. sound familiar? Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Poca... Pocahontas, Mulan, Brave and just about every modern Disney. Let's look at gender then Disney, seeing as you're OBSESSED with it:

    Male characters: Dad - scared, repressive, short-sighted, wrong. Demi-God chap - selfish, conceited, vain, ineffective, emotionally repressed, thief. Crab - as above (I'm assuming he's male). Coconut Pirates - murderous but ineffectual (I'm assuming their male).

    Female characters: Moana - bright eyed, aspirational, quick learner, visionary, empathetic, brave, strong, amazing, indefatigable, indomitable, perceptive. Granny - as above plus supernaturally gifted. Earth Goddess thingy - was only trying to kill people because the male character had robbed her of her precious.

    Yawn. Increasingly Disney is working as a SJW - righting perceived inbalances in society. They have obviously perceived a gender imbalance biased towards males in society and have therefore produced their own version of the world where the gender imbalance is biased heavily and totally towards the females. Everything else in the film is nice .
  • Oliver Thatcher Watson6 March 2017
    10/10
    Beautiful Movie
    This film is absolutely fantastic. Great CGI, great story, great voice cast, great music, and all around great everything. This truly is an instant cult classic that is going to go down in history as one of Disneys best. The CGI is beautifully detailed and polished. The sea and the hair of the characters look almost completely real. The story is absolutely amazing as well. It's not only thought provoking, but it also has everything, such as happiness, bravery, poignancy, and it just goes on a perfect flow that fits perfectly with what this film is about. The music is surprisingly pretty great in this film too. I think the writers did a splendid job with that as well. This film is beautifully animated and written, and I can't recommend this film enough for those who haven't seen it yet. I was pleasantly surprised and I think anyone who hasn't seen it yet will be as well.
  • robertdovaljr23 November 2016
    1/10
    Please Stop Singing
    Another typical Disney movie of princess, magic, spells, curses, and CONFUSION. I wont spoil it but if you like musical girlie types like FRozen then you'll probably love this. Otherwise, trust me you will be like whats going on? Why is this taking so long? get to the point already. It just drags and drags and drags. It is also somewhat predicable..you'll see what i mean if you go see this. But i HIGHLY recommend you Don't waste your time and money on this movie. If you really want to see it that bad..wait for the DVD...trust me it isn't worth it. At one point in the movie even The Rock says please stop singing. Two good things i can say. The short story before the movie started was outstanding. Its called Inner Workings. Absolutely amazing and well done. Moana also exhibits incredible computer animation. Other than that IT IS A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. I warned you!
  • Weatheronthe830 November 2016
    2/10
    About the most boring movie I've seen in my life.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Personally, I thought this movie was boring, so boring to where there were only a couple jokes I found somewhat funny the entire movie, yes this is one of those more song driven movies that are with very little humor, it also appeared as the people I went with(which one of them was a little kid who was laying on one of our arms for half the movie and it wasn't late either, it started at like 12:50 PM I think) wasn't that into it either. First, about the first hour before she got on her adventure was extremely boring, not much was happening and it was all just her not wanting to go, actually during this time, I was so bored, that I went to the bathroom and took my time(usually I run to get back to the movie) and when I got out, I actually got on my phone and looked at how "bad" the reviews would be for this movie, it turns out I was very wrong, it has very good reviews and I was surprised. When I got back in there, a little later it got slightly more interesting after she got on her boat, but it still was pretty boring, I even went to the bathroom a second time even though I probably could've held it. I don't think I've been to a more boring movie in my life, the songs seemed pretty generic and I know at least 1 repeated itself later on the movie. I personally didn't care for Frozen either though which I think is the market this is aimed for. This is honestly making me start to lose hope in Disney, I think they've done messed up TV, and now they're messing up movies it seems. I think it is overrated but that's just my opinion. All I can say is that if you like Frozen, you'd probably like this movie. But if you didn't care for Frozen, you'd probably find this one of the most boring movies of your life. I don't even think it's me outgrowing cartoons, I like cartoons but this is just boring, I think it may be they're all aimed for little kids(probably little girls for this one) now, whatever happened to family movies. This movie was so boring, that I was literally able to tell what kind of plot it has, it has a Hero's Journey plot in case you're wondering, I know a lot of movies have the plot, but it's not supposed to be this plain obvious to where I can tell either while or right after I watched the movie. I also think this being about some fictional religion was just weird, like how were the islanders in trouble when the darkness was like halfway around the world, then why would that goddess be that thing that was trying to kill them, it would make more since if we could've saved 10 minutes by her just saying to give her the thing then and that she was the goddess but no, gotta make it obvious about that Hero's Journey plot, seriously. So overall I wouldn't recommend this movie to hardly anyone unless they like Frozen and I personally find this movie very overrated.
  • lorilett3 December 2016
    3/10
    Beautiful animation, predictable storyline
    A friend and I went with the kids to watch Moana last night. I loved seeing Polynesian islands in animation again. The scenery is beautiful--much more of it, and more vivid compared to Lilo and Stitch. The storyline was typical Disney, of course. I feel like I've seen this movie a dozen times before. I would add that I am getting tired of seeing male characters portrayed as cowardly, ignorant, and/or irresponsible. This movie succeeds in that aspect, which is disappointing. Having sons, it would be nice to see a movie where a young man is the hero. Instead, we seem to find thattoo many of Disney's children's movies feature a heroine with weak male characters around her. Other than the above-mentioned observation and the glorifying of pagan belief systems, it was an entertaining and uplifting movie.
  • SusanJL31 December 2016
    4/10
    Kids liked it OK, I thought it was forgettable
    Warning: Spoilers
    Animation is good (except surely not all Polynesians are so stocky and have such large cankles???). I liked the Moana character and her outfit was cute. Maui not so much, such an overblown caricature it was ridiculous!!! My 9 year old granddaughter thought his moving tattoos were silly. She and her 7 year old brother enjoyed it OK, but I doubt if they would want to see it again. I know I don't!! The plot was formulaic and none of the characters (except Moana) were memorable. I don't recall any memorable songs, either. The movie needed a MUCH better plot and more in-depth characters. Go back to the drawing board, Disney!! Some of my granddaughter's old Barbie movies (like "Pegasus") had better and more memorable stories!!
  • s g15 December 2016
    5/10
    Great soundtrack and visually creative but nothing much else to offer
    Warning: Spoilers
    The positives: -Great soundtrack. FROZENesque, epic, catchy monologues that repeat in your head. Added with Lion King like incomprehensible but fun tunes with a Hawaiian twist this time. -Beautiful and creative visuals. One in particular I enjoyed a lot was the UNDER underwater world where the ocean served as the sky. The striking beautiful blue/turquoise water with lush green islands were treat for the eyes -No silly, typical Disney, forced romances. -Passes the Bechdel test easily

    The negatives: -Filled with clichés, unoriginal and overused themes, tropes, characters and dialogue etc.... -A lot of trouble with building engagement early on. All over the place with a lot of shifts -Annoyingly predictable, unfunny characters. Specially Maui with such cringe worthy, lame jokes. Maybe i'm too old to be amazed by easy punch lines, that end of the day are meant for kids -difficulty with tonal focus. -unnecessary, out of place scene with coconut pirates that add nothing to the story -lacked the charm and wonder i expect in a kids movie.

    My rating: -5/10 -Neither original or interesting but has one or two things going for it to be not disregarded. -Compared to other animated family movies this year, I would rank this below Finding Dory but above The Secret Life of Pets.
  • Abdul Jamieson3 December 2016
    2/10
    Moan Of A Movie
    Disney is such a cliché. This must be the most over-hyped crap of a movie since Frozen. Was Jar Jar Abrams also involved in this? That's how bad and formulaic this thing is.

    I cannot believe the people who give this a perfect score. is it the first and only film they have seen? This is an awful movie. The first 2/3 of it are just frantic, predictable cultural jokes, and near the end it becomes an awkward mix between true romance/drama and slapstick heroism with the standard-issue 2015/2016 females lead cliché (Ghostbusters, Maleficient, Frozen, Star Wars, X-Men, etc.). Don't be fooled by the long list of great reviews here...they are not reviews they are indications of low class of the writers who compensate for their inadequacies. I'm not even sure what the merit of yet another Disney princess film is, it's so bad. Not recommended unless you are very easily amused, or a mother who must say it was good to keep up with Joneses after the little bratess wanted to go watch it.
  • George James27 November 2016
    2/10
    Formulaic and predictable
    First I have to admit I do not like the name Moana. It sounds like someone is moaning. Moan-aaaa ahhhh no I really don't understand some people who have voted with ten stars this movie. It was not fun..predictable ..and not respected a lot the need to challenge. I think there is something suspicious is happening with the positive criticism here...simply don't listen to these trolls talking hallelujah about this movie claiming is it perfection - yes 10/10. I just feel sad for those who have give to that film that high rating. They are fooling themselves and I guess they have issues that need to take care of this issues with some professional help. I believe it is so unfair to see that a non entertaining comedy has 9 or 10 rating...and a fan movie has a low rating...all this makes me think that actually the rating system in here is for trash heads. Great job Disney...hope you stop buying votes in the future.
  • Cyberknight Masao Kawata31 January 2017
    1/10
    Bad Message on Parenthood
    Warning: Spoilers
    Unlike "Bolt" and "Zootopia", Disney tried again another musical, i.e., people singing instead of talking. That apart, unlike other Disney musicals, e.g., "Mulan" and "Tangled", the songs in this film are very repetitive. I lost count of how many time the main character's song is reprised, with maybe slightly different lyrics every time, but I stopped caring after the second one. The explorer's song, one of the few with Polynesian language thrown-in and that doesn't sound like a cheap Western European cartoon musical, is somewhat "fine", although also repeated unnecessarily too many times. Maui's and Tamatoa's songs are happily jazzy and unfitting with the film, but helped me to survive till the obvious ending.

    Yes, the ending is squarely obvious after the first few minutes, just after the story of Maui's deed is told. The producers tried to make it less obvious by hiding the spiral on Te Ka's chest, but it's a Disney cartoon, who couldn't tell that Maui would come back to help (actually, who couldn't tell he would eventually ditch Moana in the worst possible situation, just to raise the "thrill"?), who couldn't tell that it would be Moana to fix everything (and not Maui, despite all his godly powers), who couldn't tell that it would have a perfectly colossal happy ending...?! Even the only character to die returns Obi-Wan-Kenobilistically to help Moana (what just makes sense, I guess, as Disney now owns the Star Wars franchise). Seriously, spoilers? Disney created a type of film which makes all spoilers simply meaningless (like, who couldn't tell the ending of "Frozen" just by seen the poster, with the two sisters side by side?) Granted happy ending is not fun, at all (and no, watching "how" the characters get there is not enough nowadays for enjoyment, this is not opera, this is cinema).

    Maui is by far the best character, but just like Indiana Jones in "Raiders of The Lost Ark", absolutely unimportant for the plot (except for stealing the heart of Tahiti, oops, "Te Fiti", which any other unrelated character could have done, any and everything he did was useless to change the course of the story). Maui's self-conscious line asking Moana not to start singing was funny, but the fun vanished swiftly as the songs restarted filling up the space where actual story should be. I have to regard Heihei, the chicken, funny, although fully useless, too (don't worry, if it wasn't there, the stone would have fallen in the ocean, and it would have returned it to Moana, just like it did before).

    Why is Moana the main character? There was no need for the character to be female, unlike Mulan or Merida. For the plot, Moana could be a shrimp, it wouldn't make any difference. I guess Disney wants to sell more toys to girls, and that's all. According to psychologists, men have a need to outstand, women have a need to fit in (this is not Wikipedia, you look for the references!) Thus, boys take any crap you throw at them, as long as it has flashy LED's and makes a lot of noise. Girls are usually more picky, they use to choose what appeals to them somehow (even if only because "everybody at school has one"). Heroines have a better chance to sell them anything, I suppose, so there comes another female leading character. Do you doubt it? Disney went as far as making Maui literally label Moana as a "princess", what she vehemently denies, just to make it sink even deeper in the brains of the young. That's pure evil!

    Talking about evil, why are the parents always the evil people that don't let the heroine be, well, heroic (or even have a little fun)?! It had to be the fun-funny-and-cool, sweeter-than-honey, always friendly/compassionate, knowing-better-than-the-parents Grandmother the one to help Moana. Granny inflamed her desire to disobey her father's orders, which almost got herself drowned, what was exactly what he was trying to save her from (what is also completely nonsensical, as the ocean for far too many times saves her and others from drowning, to the point I stopped worrying that any character could die). That was a very evil message, that anyone can be a better friend than the parents. Sure, there are bad parents out there, but that was clearly not the case, as he was trying to protect her. Disney poisoning!

    The plot has so many holes (some of which I have already exposed) that the ending is almost detached from the rest of the film. For example, why didn't the ocean simply return the stone to Te Fiti, why did it need a human to do the job? Moana wouldn't be able to do it without the help of the ocean, which opened a path to Te Ka.

    The background message, "don't mess with Nature", was weak, far below "Mononoke Hime" or even "Over The Hedge". It's absolutely unbelievable that this film got such high scores. Those scores tell much more about the "status quo" of contemporary society than the film's quality.

    Why do I bother coming here to blemish this film? Because it's an evil film, by an evil corporation, watched by too many children out there.
  • digitalbeachbum11 March 2017
    3/10
    Cookie Cutter Story Again
    Moana is simplistic plot. Surround a young quasi-islander girl with a big over-weight quasi-demi-god, a few animal "friends", a father afraid of going out beyond the reef because his friend drowned? and a need to return a stone to its source because that demi-god stole it? while disrespecting the father/chief? and becoming a leader of the people before the father dies? of which, women weren't allowed to be chiefs?

    Disney's ability to dilute any folklore is well-known, in order to make a quick buck by selling junk merchandise to kids. The tattoo suit was a terrible idea, but kudos for pulling it off the shelf quickly.

    Disney has a habit also of producing "girl power" movies, which I find to be cookie-cutter style. Disney has found a formula and they rinse-repeat with the characters, music and script. Recently this has been true with movies like Frozen, Tangled and Brave.

    In the meantime, Disney ignores the male lead role with the ability to change and overcome challenges in life. (12) movies in the past have featured male leads but none of which meet the standards set forth today by Disney standards for female lead roles. No, I don't include Pixar movies.

    Of those (12) movies, only two have meaningful scripts and two have sad endings. Peter Pan (1953), Sword in Stone (1963), Jungle Book (1967/2016), Black Cauldron (1985), Aladdin (1992), Hunchback (1996), Hercules (1997), Tarzan (1999), Emperor's New Groove (2000), Treasure Planet (2002), Brother Bear (2003), Meet Robinson's (2007).

    I could really dig deep and trash this movie for all the things they got wrong, but I'm going to skip it and just point out the few things I liked about the movie.

    (1) The animation is good. (2) The movie is about the Pacific Islanders. (meh) There was one tune I thought was catchy, the rest were crap

    That's it. The rest of the movie is junk to me. It is a cookie- cutter movie with the same theme, with the same songs, with the same direction. Sure there are some amusing parts of the movie, but over all I really didn't care for it.

    I also was disappointed in the use of "Disney staff from the Disney resort" who are of native heritage for the bonus features. It became obvious to me that Disney was doing a fluff piece to show the general public that "islanders" love working on the movie, which is a partial truth.

    Overall this movie is an amusing production which will satisfy the little kids and the simpletons. If Disney really wanted to make a movie about diversity they could make the same movie about a gay boy trying to be chief after his father dies.
  • Lying Trump7 December 2016
    2/10
    Disney Conning America
    The most positive thing I can say about this movie is that it adheres to the formula very faithfully and it is not an unapologetic butchery like the new Star Wars. Apparently however, whether because of a lack of creativity or despite it, this film is extremely uncreative. At its best, which is a word one should not use about this film, it's how you imagined it. At its worst, if you've already watched Frozen, Snow White or Little Mermaid, it is frankly boring to watch and may disrupt the fancies of your imagination: I never imagined a girl sailing the ocean with a beefcake. The special effects don't go that far beyond stage play level and certainly don't live up to the reviews' descriptions. This movie has not been released to do anything new, and it's not worth the trouble obtaining watching in the theatre with 50 kids on smartphones around you. Read a book, cook or bake, actually talk to your children and think for yourself, or if you must enjoy some other movie on the same theme.
  • FranBunnyFFXII6 December 2016
    5/10
    This was a letdown of a movie, I expected a lot more of Disney.
    Warning: Spoilers
    So Moana was boring. Not entirely a typical family and kids movie, but still very much in the same vein. It's not very funny, it relies on musical numbers more than it should and those musical numbers are mostly boring or annoying. There's a few good singing parts in it, but it's overshadowed by annoying musical numbers. It relies on pop-culture which is really out of place in a movie that's about Polynesian legends. One of the main characters makes a joke about Twitter in the movie which is completely out of taste and just isn't funny. It's a great visual spectacle, but a poor plot, but would hold up on its own it if wasn't throwing strange out of place jokes and very modern character behavior. I had very high hopes for this movie, and it really was a let down. It was boring, and rather shallow. At best from me a 5/10.
  • taylorhammons16 December 2016
    3/10
    It's just not up to Disney standards.
    Warning: Spoilers
    Let's start with the characters. Moana is overly optimistic and superstitious, Maui is way too self involved, the grandmother is certifiable, and the father is willing to let his own people starve and his island die so that he doesn't have to confront his past. Then there's the music. The ocean song is kind of fun, but all the others are awful! Maui's is all about how he's some kind of gift of the gods, and then there's that weird song that the crab sings... And the plot! Every other Disney training montage shows a gradual change, but all through this movie, people just know how to do things! And Moana never accomplishes anything without someone else's help- Maui, her grandmother, the ocean... And Maui suddenly changes his mind about helping for no reason. And who didn't see it coming that the land goddess had become the lava monster. And let's not even talk about the sentient coconuts... Come on, Disney! You're supposed to be better than this.
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