Moana, created by Walt Disney Animation Studios, introduces audiences to a young girl who will be chief of her island tribe and a demigod who must help her save the world. The film features vocal performances from Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Sina, and Alan Tudyk.
I've been looking forward to this movie for a long time and was pretty excited when the big day to see it finally arrived. After a nice Thanksgiving meal, my family and I set off on a journey to one of the local theaters so we could enjoy the latest Disney animated feature together. After the requisite onslaught of previews ran their course, the show started with an animated short film called Inner Workings that you are really going to enjoy. The story is along the lines of Inside Out but in a totally different way and it has a visual style that reminded me Up.
Next up, of course was the main attraction which starts off with a couple musical numbers that set the tone nicely for what turns out to be a really fun and fast paced ride. The creative team does a great job of introducing all the characters, letting you know what the problem is, and then just digging into the action. Other than one major musical misstep, I was very impressed with just about every moment of this movie and the animation is just amazing to see onscreen. There's a very distinct visual style that is just enough of an exaggerated reality which is perfect for a world filled with the stuff of legend like mystical creatures and god like beings.
Speaking of god like beings, Dwayne Johnson proves yet again why he is a force to reckon with in the entertainment industry. Having conquered the world of sports entertainment, he has since moved on to become one of the biggest and most bankable action stars of all time. His presence on social media is second to none and his star power continues to grow so it was just a matter of time before he was given an iconic animated character to work with within the Disney machine. His larger than life persona, even in vocal form, was perfectly suited for Maui, the equally larger than life demigod and, as usual, he delivers the goods. Equally up to the task and making a big splash was 16 year old Auli'i Cravalho in a debut performance that should make waves across the Hollywood landscape for years to come. Seriously, even in a vocal performance, this young woman has talent and star power for days.
Moana is yet another smashing success in the current stream of titles being put out by Walt Disney Animation which includes Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia. Filled with a diverse cast of voice actors, the movie introduces yet another strong, female character who comes from a Pacific island culture that is respectfully depicted thanks to extensive research and consultation.
I have not seen the film in 3D although Disney always does a great job with their animated features so I have no doubt it will look pretty fantastic with the upgrade added on. Even so, the 2D presentation was pretty phenomenal so, whatever format you prefer, you should definitely check this movie out.