Review of “Moana” (2016)

As a baby, Moana shows interest in the story her grandma shares at her daycare, about Maui stealing the heart of Te Fiti. All the other children panic.

Moana is somehow called to the ocean, which she likes to explore. But her overprotective father prohibits her from going near it.

Years later, when Moana has reached her current age for the main part of the story, there is a shortage of fish by the reef. Moana suggests going beyond the reef. But her father gets yells, forbidding anyone from traveling further than the reef.

Moana’s mother reveals why her dad is so against going beyond the reef. When he was young, he tried to save his friend from drowning—but the other boy had already died.

Moana tries sailing, but it ends up not working out. Her grandma shows the story of her ancestors and how they used to go beyond the reef all the time. They stopped because there were too many dangerous monsters, especially Te Ka the lava demon.

Unfortunately, not long after, Moana’s grandmother is dying. She tells Moana to sail out to the ocean, seek Maui, and return the heart of Te Fiti. The journey begins from there.

I really admired many parts of this movie, from the story to the characters, especially Moana. She is one of the few Disney princesses to have no love interest. The other two are Merida and Elsa (which was why fans begged Disney to give Elsa a girlfriend in the “Frozen” sequel). Anyway, Moana was fierce, brave, and strong, which is what many expect for female characters today.

The music was also fantastic. Many songs sounded different from traditional Disney songs. Some sounded more like pop songs, such as “How Far I’ll Go” and “Shiny.” I particularly appreciated the rap section in “You’re Welcome” sung by Maui.

That being said, a couple of moments in this movie displeased me, such as some urine jokes, and (sorry to disappoint some of you) the coconut pirate scene. But I did love when Moana said that they were cute—until they attacked her and Maui.

However, I couldn’t see how it played any importance to the story. It seemed to fill in to merely add more conflict.

The story told in Moana’s daycare was way too mature for little kids, as well. Yet, the exposition had to set itself up in order for the plot to begin.

Speaking of plot… how does Moana know how to swim when her parents didn’t allow her near the water? Did someone secretly give her private swimming lessons? Or was she born with them?

Aside from the weaknesses, the film also had lots of twists and turns. Moana ended up resembling another character, whose name I won’t reveal.

I rate Moana 5 out of 5 stars. It is such a wonderful movie that I would recommend to all, especially with a strong, independent female lead.

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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