Movie Reviews

Published on November 21st, 2016 | by Genevieve Mc Bride



Moana (pronounced MoWAHnah) is a spirited and determined young daughter of an overprotective father who happens to be the chief of Motunui Island.

On this idyllic, mystical Polynesian island, Moana (voiced by Hawaiian actress Auli’i Cravalho),grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories about the legendary demigod Maui and how he stole the Heart of Te Fiti, condemning his people to an uncertain fate.

Ever since she was an adorable toddler, the ocean has called to her. Her name means “ocean” after all. However her father forbids her from even considering the notion of sailing beyond the reef that protects Motunui.

But when Moana’s island starts showing signs of disease that threatens her people’s livelihood, she is convinced she can save her island by returning the Heart of Te Fiti. Against her father’s wishes she sets sail in search of Maui  (voiced by Dwayne Johnson)in hopes of saving her people.

Pixar and Disney have long mastered the art of emotionally compromising their audience with characters and storylines that pluck at your heartstrings. Yet I was still surprised at how much Moana moved me. With her touching relationship with her grandmother, her deep respect of her culture, and her dauntless temperment, Moana quickly became my favorite Disney heroine.

From the gorgeous animation, the pitch perfect voice acting and the beautiful music, I really believe Disney has made something special with Moana that will deeply resonate with islanders and those who love the islander culture.

If you’re a Hamilton fan, you’ll easily recognize Lin-Manuel Miranda’s  voice and his lyrical signature in the many memorable songs. So don’t be surprised if you leave the theatre singing “You’re welcome.”

5 stars out of 5

Second Review by

Tracey Barrientos

Walt Disney Animation Studios brings us Moana. She is Disney’s latest “princess” to hit the big screen. She is the daughter of the chief of Motunui and is soon to be the newest chief. After story time with grandma when she was younger, Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) became enamored with the sea. Her father the chief prohibited any of the villagers to leave the island past the reef. If you did bad things would happen. They were told that the sea was unrelenting.

As she grew up she understood that she was being called to do something more than just be the next chief. After problems with their crops arose she knew she had to do something to protect their home. With the help from the “village crazy lady” her grandmother she was able to find out what was needed to be done. She and her pet chicken embark on the most daring adventure of her life.

When I was younger, my mom was a great hula dancer. She would take me to all of her rehearsals and events. The teachers and elders would tell us kids stories and legends of the gods of the islands. I was instantly transported back to this time of my life while watching the film. Perhaps this is why I adored this film or it could be because of the half brained pet chicken Hehe whom certainly stole the show. Dwayne Johnson steels the show in his own way as Maui. One of my other favorites is a very special surprise crustacean character with an all about me attitude played by none other than Tim Curry.

I was really mesmerized by the vibrant colors and scenery. Everything seemed extremely life like, from the smallest grain of sand to every strand of hair on her head. The music in the film was extremely catchy and at times made me want to sing a long with them but alas, I didn’t know any of the words. The 3D aspect of the film is not always recommended however, I would definitely recommend seeing this film with it. Either way, adults to kids will absolutely adore this story. Be sure to stay after the credits for a funny little send off.

4.5 out 5

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