Review: Moana

Series: Disney Animated: #56

🎵 You’re welcome. 🎵

Man, that’s a fun movie.

Many would point at Disney’s Frozen as the start of a new sort of Disney princess movie with a much more positive/modern look on life. Less damsel in distress, more agency for the princesses.

And Frozen certainly did that, but it still had some issues. Tangled did even better a few years later, but Moana really knocks it out of the park. It’s just a really fun story about a girl that goes on an adventure (to save her people!), makes some friends (and enemies) along the way, and ends up saving the day. And she does it all without a love interest at all. Which, given that she’s a teen (like most of the Disney princesses) is perfectly all right. It’s not a particularly deep plot, but it’s a Disney movie. It’s plety good fun.

Moana: Okay, first, I am not a princess. I’m the daughter of the chief.

Maui: Same difference.

Moana: No.

Maui: If you wear a dress, and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.

Castingwise, they really did a good job. Auli’i Cravalho is Hawaiian and did a wonderful job both in voice and in singing. Dwayne Johnson is a gem in just about everything he’s in and does a wonderful job, including the singing. It’s not his strongest suit, but it really fits (🎵 You’re welcome. 🎵). And, it turns out he’s Samoan on his mother’s side. Representation is important. As wonderful as it is to have stories of girls that can do whatever they put their mind to, it’s just as necessary and powerful to normalize all sorts of people in all sorts of roles.

As a side note: casting Alan Tudyk as the ‘dumb chicken’ (my childrens’ words)? Inspired.

Best song?

A wonderfully solid movie and my favorite of 2021 so far. It’s hard to compare to Iron Man (a very different movie), but when you’ve watched (and enjoyed) the same movie so many times, there has to be a reason. Watched: Children. Enjoyed: It’s a good movie!