Sunday five kids from my youth group and I went to see Disney's new movie, Moana. Two of them agreed to help review the movie for the blog. We've tried to keep the big plot points secret but we are discussing the movie so there are spoilers ahead.
Rhiana: I loved the music, and the story. It was beautiful. It was a nice change to have an adventure with no romance, even Brave had the adventure because her father wanted to find her a husband. In this it was just quest for the sake of a quest. I love that the casting choice was an actual 14 year old from Hawaii.
Hope: I also really loved the music. The animation was amazing, the water was always moving and Te Fiti was beautiful. It was nice having a Disney movie were both parents live. I also liked how it was gave a look at a culture I was unfamiliar with and told about their culture in a neat way.
Me: I loved colour and animation. It was bright and cheerful. I loved the "sidekicks" but was sad her pig didn't get to go on the big adventure. The script was fun. There were so many great lines and even meta jokes about Moana having a sidekick therefore a princess. I liked how the Ocean was made a character especially the interaction with the toddler Moana. I listened to a "making of Moana" video and liked how the song "You're Welcome" quickly told many of the different legends about Maui.
Less Than Good:
Rhiana: Chief Tala was a typical Disney father with the, "don't do this thing" harshness that was all forgiving at the end, "I am so glad you disobeyed me." It would be nice just once to have a supportive parent.
Hope: the scene with the Kakamora pirates seemed pointless, I don't see how it furthered the plot and for character development it only seemed to show that Moana is awesome -but we already knew that.
Me: I agree with Hope about the Kakamora, I thought there was going to be another show down with them at some point, there wasn't. There are a more than a few moments that felt like I was watching a previous movie not the story, but the telling on the story. The acting out tattoo reminded me of the Muses in Hercules, the conclusion reminded me of something from Princess Mononoke, and the music at times reminded me as a cross between the Tarazan score and Hamilton. Also, every time see started practicing her "I am Moana" speech I wanted to say, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya..." None of those things were truly bad, they just took me out of the movie for a bit while I tried to figure out what was similar. I found this especially hard with the music.
I also didn't immediately love the music. It didn't have that same ... whatever it is that makes Disney music magical. After so many Disney movies (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, and Frozen) I had a song I loved therefore needed the soundtrack. I already had the song stuck in my head. I've only seen Pocahontas once and yet I know all the words to Colour of the Wind. I wanted the Moana music to be the same way. And I think it was that magical for the teens with me. But I didn't find myself wanting to sing-along in the same away. This time there was no one line or lyric that stayed stuck in my head at first. As I researched I listened to the music my feeling changed. But at the time I remember being underwhelmed.
Rhiana: I think my favourite scene when Moana is in the cave and discovers her ancestors were explorers.
Hope: My favourite scene is how the heart was returned. Where it was and the song Moana sang.
Me: I think I liked the scene right after the Moana song (diving into the ocean) and the reforming of the phrase she'd been saying though out the movie.
Rhiana: You're Welcome
Hope: We Know the Way
Me: We Know the Way
Hope: Grandmother Tala
Me: The Ocean
Rhiana: 4 sting rays out of 5
Hope: 3.8 canoes out of 5
Me: 3.8 Kakamora (pirate coconuts) out of 5