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Movie Review-Moana

Linda Van Der Heyden, Staff Reporter

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Disney’s recent film “Moana” paid tribute to the playful and charming island culture of Polynesia. The movie told a tale of empowerment, adventure, finding one’s own identity, and friendship as Moana embarked on a journey to save her island. It is a visually stunning film as  the movie gives the ocean character a role,a relatable personality that  audiences gravitate towards.

Auli’i Cravalho is a fantastic singer in her debut Disney role as Moana. However she was  not the best actor, she contributed zero emotion to her character.  I enjoyed how the character of Moana took control of her destiny and how she made things happen instead of letting things happen to her. She went on a journey to save her island  and she figured out who she was in the process of doing that.

Another surprising actor in the film was Dwayne Johnson, who voiced the character of Maui, the confident demi-god with a big heart. He had been trying to redeem himself for causing the essential crisis of the movie.  I also appreciated the development he went throughout the course of the plot going from foil to friend. Johnson’s singing ability was not incredible but he was enthusiastic in everything he went through and I was drawn to his personality because of it.

I found the side characters to be a little annoying and distracted from the focus of the plot. They are the reason the film was teetering between the line of magical Disney film and childish animated movie.

The soundtrack of Moana is fun, empowering, and upbeat.  A few of the songs are by Lin Manuel Miranda , the writer of the hit musical “Hamilton”. The songs for the soundtrack of the movie were beautifully written.  I appreciated how “Moana” pleasantly departed from the stereotypical plot and character types. I am happy that Moana is redefining the princess role and how she is has a more realistic personality and body type. Her background of being a Polynesian princess also redefined it as well. Despite its flaws, it is worth viewing.

What is your favorite Disney movie that's come out in the last few years?

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