I finally watched Moana. It took a while - but I knew I'd be interested since I first heard about it, though.
I won't bother summarizing the movie much since everyone probably knows the basics: Moana has to voyage across the ocean to find Maui, a shapeshifting demigod, and make him restore the heart of the goddess Te Fiti - which he stole a thousand years ago, causing a growing darkness that now threatens to engulf her island.
I really enjoyed it. The animation is great, the story is entertaining, the performances are wonderful, and .
There are some things that I didn't like - but these are really dangers of the genre. I've never been a fan of musicals, and the earnestness is sometimes too much for me. Also, I felt like that parts of the beginning werea bit "Intro to Polynesian Culture 101", in an awkward way - but it probably makes sense when you consider that the primary audience is kids.
Did I mention that it is based on Polynesian stories? I didn't, because you probably already know. It's not just window-dressing, though, which is important.
There's another thing that just occurred to me, as I was writing this:
Moana is the daughter of the chief and from the beginning is assumed to be the next chief of the village. There is no mention at all of this being unusual. I'm so used to "girl power" storylines, where the girl has to triumph over prejudice by proving she's worthy. It was refreshing to see Moana's gender not matter at all - to see girls already accepted. It's not ignored, but it really doesn't have anything to do with the story. (Although it does make the ending more powerful.)
So, I think it's worth seeing, if you haven't yet. I don't know that I like it as much as I liked Mulan
, but I liked it a lot. If you're the type of person who doesn't generally get excited about Disney, but likes a few of their movies, this one is worth checking out.Here
is a tumblr post I made about the landscapes. Columnar basalts!