Starring: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Nichole Scherzinger
Director: Ron Clements, Don Hall, John Musker, Chris Williams
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Run Time: 1:43
Movie Type: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Moana is a daughter of the chief of her tribe, Coming from a long line of navigators she sets off for a fabled island with her hero, the demi God Maui. Along the voyage they battle the treacherous ocean and all which it hides, all the while learning what the power love between friends can accomplish.
An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity.
When I found out that Disney was working on a Polynesian Princess movie, I was thrilled because I’m a huge fan of being Samoan. I love the Samoan culture, the language, and the dancing. The dancing is probably my very favorite part of all Polynesian floor shows. I had an amazing childhood. They say that it takes a village to raise a kid and when you’re Samoan, that is very true. I grew up with so many mother figures outside of my family and I’m grateful that the love I felt growing up has passed on to my own daughter. It’s the Samoan way. I’ve learned from the many mother and father figures I had growing up. From friends of my parents to the older folks in Church, I was showered in love and acceptance and that has always been my very favorite part of the Polynesian culture.
I was pretty curious to see how Disney would bring the Polynesian culture to life and I’m not going to lie, I was low key scared that they’d get it wrong and we’d get another Lilo and Stitch but boy am I super happy to say that they got it right this time. The thing that I loved was how all islands were represented throughout the movie. It was great fun listening to the songs and picking up the different languages represented in each song.
Moana is the daughter of the chief and ever since she was a small lass, the sea has called to her. Her father won’t let her answer the call of the sea because he fears for her safety. His experience with the sea is not a good one so he keeps a close eye on her and drills her duties to the village in her brain. Her village is slowly dying with crops going bad and no fish in their reef and her father’s answer for that is to wait it out. To hope for the best but Moana wanted to do more to help her people.
So after a talk with her grandmother, she sets off to fulfill her destiny and to restore her island home to the island it once was. Her mission is to sail past the reef (something that was forbidden by her father), find the Demi-God Maui and take him to deliver the heart of Tafiti back to where it belongs. After that is done, her island homes way of life will be restored.
Moana’s journey takes her through lots of ups and downs. I laughed, I cried a little and in the end, I absolutely loved it all. I loved the cast, the voices and just every little thing about this movie. The kids loved this movie and I adored Moana. Disney captured the heart of the Polynesian people and she gave our kids a great Disney Princess to look up to and this Polynesian woman is a happy camper. I definitely recommend this one.