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Moana Waialiki is a sea voyaging enthusiast and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her island's fishermen can't catch any fish and the crops fail, she learns that the demigod Maui caused the blight by stealing the heart of the goddess, Te Fiti. The only way to heal the island is to persuade Maui to return Te Fiti's heart, so Moana sets off on an epic journey across the Pacific. The film is based on stories from Polynesian mythology. Written by
Near the end of the song "Where You Are", when Moana and her parents are walking to the temple, Moana looks to the right, and sees her grandmother dancing in the beach. (The shore runs parallel to the path).
But when the song ends, the camera zoom out and the shore is clearly perpendicular to the path. See more »
In the beginning there was only ocean until the Mother Island emerged. Te Fiti. Her heart held the greatest power ever known. It could create life itself. And Te Fiti shared it with the world. But in time, some began to seek Te Fiti's heart. They believed if they could possess it, the great power of creation would be theirs. And one day, the most daring of them all voyaged across the vast ocean to take it. He was a demi-god of the wind and sea. He was a warrior. A trickster. A ...
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Much like Big Hero 6 the title for the movie does not appear until the ending of the film. See more »
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.
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