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  • 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.


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  • 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
    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!
  • 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
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • hennyxu21 February 2017
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I DO NOT understand the hype around this movie. With so many good Disney movies out there, even relatively modern ones like Tangled and The Emperors New Groove, I don't understand why anyone would watch this movie. It's utterly predictable and stars a pretentious, spoiled brat of a princess who is incapable of doing anything on her own. Here are my problems with this movie.

    1. Moana does absolutely nothing on her own!

    Whether from Maui the super special Demigod, her dead grandmother in the form of a sparkly spirit sting ray, or the ocean itself, help always seems to come for Moana. She cannot do anything on her own. She can't sail her own boat without the help of the magical ocean or Maui. I'm still not sure why she was chosen in the first place. Aside from a very naive and misguided sense of optimism, she possesses no real positive qualities, and she never would have succeeded without the help of the aforementioned parties.

    2. Why is no one talking about the coconuts??

    Can someone please explain to me why no one is concerned or confused that they are actually attacked by an angry army of sentient coconuts? No explanation. No warning. No sense. Just an army of coconuts that almost manage to vanquish our heroic team, despite the fact that they are so stupid that at one point, one of them actually shoots his own leader with a blow dart. But we shouldn't be surprised. They are, after all, coconuts. And if moana is so incredible, she should have been able to defeat them much easier. Not to mention the fact that this is really just a terrible writing choice for Disney. This whole scene could have been cut out and it wouldn't have changed the movie at all. It wouldn't make a whole lot more sense, but at least you could say that no one was attacked by coconuts.

    3. Let's talk about that ending.

    Disney is not known for flawless endings. But this one made no sense. First of all, you've got a lava monster living in the middle of the ocean, because the laws of chemistry mean nothing to Disney. But then Moana just walks right out and sings it into submission, calming down the volcanic anger of the scary monster with the soothing touch from her pretty princess hand. The idea of the lava monster being the dying island was completely predictable, but they could have come up with a more logical way to return the heart.

    4. Why does this disease move so slowly?

    It's been 1000 years since Maui stole the heart, right? But judging by how quickly the blackness was chasing Maui when he first stole it, it should have reached Moana's island much sooner.

    5. Her sidekicks are awful.

    I'm not going to try to tell you that Flounder and Pascal are the brightest crayons in the box, but this chicken is downright stupid. And it's not even funny. He's trying to eat a rock. Repeatedly. No creature could possibly be that stupid and live longer than 12 seconds. He is absolutely moronic and she should have let Maui eat him. And the pig isn't much better.

    6. Her father is quite possibly the worst chief on the planet.

    He's afraid of the water. He lost his friend. Fine. But his people are literally starving. How can he possibly justify not allowing his fishermen, who are presumably much smarter and more experienced than he was at the time of his tragic accident, to go out and find food for his people? Then he stifles his daughter's creativity and curiosity because of his own fears. He's a terrible father and a terrible chief and he needs to be dethroned. And also, if he's so afraid, how does his daughter know how to swim?

    All in all, this movie is absolutely atrocious. The writing makes no sense. The plot is lazy and predictable. Moana, though regarded as revolutionary and self reliant, is very much the same as every other princess to ever appear in a Disney movie. The only difference is her very misplaced optimism and utter lack of talent.

    Oh, and by the way, that crab is creepy. I'm sorry.
  • 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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I don't care much if they reproduce the same story. If someone did care, than he would not watch new movies after watching 10 with identical story lines, but this film is far from good and here are the reasons..

    For example: there is way too much comedy: The jokes were most of the times okay. A lot of them fall flat, but let's say that 70% of the jokes were effective and therefore I mean: 'Comedy without much competition on the rest of the story'. Other kinds of comedy however have little effect or they do not have effect at all. The pirates for example are walking coconut-things. They were just added to be cute I guess(just like that little pig that somehow stays young). The giant crab later on in the film turned out to be a comedian and suddenly he started singing.. yeah, not really a 'demon from the deep' now is he? Maui's tattoo's and the chicken could be fun, if they did not overuse those so badly. All in all the comedy seems to get the main priority instead of story and it won´t stop there...

    The songs are in general just bad and only ment as fillers, same problem with 'Frozen': bad written, uninspiring and barely plot-related unlike the songs in 'Mulan' or 'The Lion King'(just to give some examples that did it right). In the second half of the film they really got disturbing. The last song in which grandma showed up happen to be the most uninspiring of them all: straight sentences in a song-form. It was also as cringing as ´Shiny´ by the "demon crab". Anyway those songs, like pretty much the rest, are totally unnecessary and also indicates what the film's formula is: 'Making it child-friendly by and adding lodes of comedy and songs in order to satisfy as many different audiences as possible'. I get that, but as a result they removed almost any possible thread and tension moments in this film and it just won't work if even the characterization is bad.

    Maui is definitely the better character, but that is mainly because the comedy suits perfectly on his character; He just loves himself. Moana could be an interesting character, but they really made it hard to make her intriguing as one and that is because she tries too little to help her own people. Instead she is most of the time too busy teasing the demigod and the rest of the time she sings. You would expect that she will go straight to the point, if the survival of her people and the balance of life is at stake here, but no.. It seems that it was just not important enough for her and that is why she drastically fails as a ´Caring character´. However the character development of Maui has also downsides: How did the gods make Maui into a demigod and who are those gods and how did Maui felt when that happened, because he was only a child then and why didn't he abandoned his people after receiving those powers, because he got abandoned as well?! Emotional-involvement takes more than a brief discussion and that is why I also do not care about Maui in the end. There were other things that were too brief, for example when Moana left the village while she sang(mother does not do anything to stop her) or the history that explains why Moana's father got so ´Protective´. This is just like 'Frozen', when the parents die: It offers simply too little to get emotional invested by it, so it does not work. Personally I don´t need much to get invested, but I just want a little more done, than nothing at all.

    However the worst problem in this film happen to be the very questionable plot. Why does Moana has to search for Maui in the first place, if she can restore the heart of Te Fiti herself, because that will mean that everyone can, so why not the sea, since the sea can transport things(including the heart) right away? Maui even asked himself during the screentime and he does have a point that still hasn't been answered. This makes the entire idea of a 'chosen one' invalidated, because the ocean could solve this problem herself a long time ago, not with Maui's or Moana's help, because the only thing you have to do is take that damn thing to that island and show it to that lava creature! There is no need for a demigod or a chosen one! Apparently the ocean did nothing. Was it because it would have been too easy or did the ocean not know that Te Ka was Te Fiti herself? Surprisingly the ocean was not very helpful at all along the way: Where was the ocean when the storm appeared, or when the pirates showed up, or when Te Ka attacked?! This film would have been better off without the whole concept of having a chosen one and without the sea as a sort of guardian. By the way, why does everyone in the village not hate Maui, he caused the extinction of life, so also their food, so 'hate' must be the natural response of the villagers. Instead they say: 'No, this poor fellow made a mistake, all he needs is to be convinced to put the heart back.' Mayby they thought that even 'hate' was too harmful for younger audiences.

    In conclusion: Moana is simply a bad movie. The comedy overwhelms the movie like too much salt on your omelet. There is very little character development. But above all the plot is a illogical mess! I must admit that I do love the soundtracks, but it had to be ruined by the uninspiring songs. The visuals are stunning, but I just can't give that too much credit for this film.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • wonkertuzz6 March 2017
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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'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 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!
  • Too many people seem to feel the need to love this movie for all the self-congratulatory ways in which this is supposed to be a politically satisfying Disney outing without noticing that it is one of the dullest Disney outings in a very long time.

    One notable song and very little genuine humour. Dramatic tension is almost non-existent even by Disney standards since it progresses in pretty much a straight line from beginning to end. A few minutes in and the middle and end of the movie are never in doubt.
  • k-3863210 August 2017
    Of course we all know that Disney has become a master of delivering a formula and we expect it, but this one is one of the worse cliché-ridden deliveries by Disney.

    I also did not realize it is a musical as I do not enjoy the voice or the music. I am just not a fan. You may be.

    Finally, The Rock should go the way of Adam Sandler and Jeff Goldblum and be considered a straight-to-video no-talent. Frankly, I only watched this because I used to do a girl named Moana at work, but otherwise even my kid thought the film was boring. Disney needs a new shtick because Star Wars is out of ideas and Marvel has already begun to wear down its audience.
  • Westmoney12 April 2017
    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 .
  • I hate this Movie. Ironnicly,as I was walking up the stairs and into my seat, I had HIGH expectations. As I sat down excitement and the movie began...I hated the first few minutes. A few minites later added to the fire of my already burning hatred for it. Add 1 hour and 47 mins to that and I'm already clawing my eyes out. I'm gonna make this sweet and short. I felt like I was watching Frozen all over again, just with even more horrendous singing and somehow an even worse script. None of the jokes made me laugh, the best character in the whole movie was the chicken with the only trait as a character is being stupid and vulnerable and the only reason I didn't leave theatre was because it was new year's eve and I had nothing else to do.

    Can I say this?... This movie sucks..

  • ygm-146883 December 2016
    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.
  • 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!!
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