Moana is an amazing folklore story set in the Pacific Islands. We meet Moana, the daughter of the chief, and how she is drawn to the ocean. You'll find a fearless leader that doesn't even bat an eye at a single male character. Yes my friends, we finally have a story without a single love story! (Sorry Merida, Moana wins this battle) Unless you count the love for the ocean, Moana is girl power to the max. Auli'i Cravalho's breakout role was meant for her; she was the last person that Walt Disney Studios auditioned for the role after all. Here I thought Dwayne Johnson was going to steal the show with his signature eyebrow raise (which I'm so glad the animators showcased on Maui).
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But what I loved most about the movie aside from the fact that there is no side love story, is the fantastic music. With music by Opetaia Foa'i, Mark Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, it rivals music from Frozen. You know that moment in the theaters when you first hear Elsa sing Let It Go, and it was so powerful and heartwarming that you shed a tear for her? You'll do that pretty much every time Auli'i Cravalho sings a note. She is just amazing. At every turn, I was wowed by the great visuals and creative characters. But seeing the magnificent goddess Te Fiti in all her glory was just stunning. While I'm not a fan of movies in 3D Moana was a joy to watch. I felt like I was sailing the sea right along side her.
Here is the storyline:
Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows exactly why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), and featuring music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i, “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.
Moana's Gramma Tala is another part of the story I really enjoyed. Her spirit was just so special, and her bond with Moana helped her fulfill her destiny. You also to have some loveable animals to get you through any good Disney movie. Hei Hei is one of the best comic relief aspects from the movie. Make sure you stay until the VERY end of the credits. You'll be so happy you stayed. Not only will you get too see who the Caffination Specialist is you'll get a hilarious little poke another Disney film.
Moana Easter Eggs
Here are the easter eggs that stood out to me. Spoilers ahead…you've been warned
The little turtle at the beginning looks like the Finding Nemo sea turtles.
Maui transforms into Sven from Frozen
One of the flowers blooming looks like Rapunzel's magic flower from the sun.
Wreck-It Ralph is seen stitched into the fabric in the end credits.
Other Easter Eggs mentioned online that I did not see, are Flounder from The Little Mermaid and Olaf from Frozen. I, unfortunately, did not catch either of these. But I think that just means that I need to go back and see it again.
Go check out Moana in theaters November 23rd.
Save $5 on your Moana ticket by using promo code JAMONKEY at checkout on Atom Tickets. Skip the lines!
Here are some fun Moana Activity Sheets you can print out and enjoy with your family. Click on the image to open the downloadable file in a new window.
Additional coloring pages