Writer: Jared Bush (Screenplay) Ron Clements, John Musker, Chris Williams, Don Hall, Pamela Ribon, Aaron Kandell, Jordan Kandell (Story)
Starring: (Voice Talents) Auli’I Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk
Plot: In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by Maui reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the demigod to set things right.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: One of Their Best
Story: Moana starts with the ancient tale of Chieftain’s heart that could give life and who Maui stole the heart with the ability to transform with his magical fishhook but when others leave Maui defeat and both the heart and fishhook lost forever. This is a story for Moana and her people where she is destiny to follow in her father’s footsteps and become the Chief of their people.
Desperate to help her people Moana risks her own life to search for a new fishing location but only finds the dark side of the ocean before her grandmother also known as the crazy lady on the island shows Moana the final secret of her people and that is Moana’s destiny, to restore the heart of Chieftain to restore the peace within the waters with the help of the one that disturbed the peace in the first place the demi-god Maui.
Moana is an adventure family comedy that brings us the next Disney leading female character that is part princess but not in the love angle. This is huge plus because we are tired of the princess stories now. The story focuses on believing in yourself be it for your people or that the stories about yourself are not what are going to define you. The fallen hero side to Maui is excellently done to go opposite the soon to be chief character makes for an unusual partnership but one that works on the levels needed.
It wouldn’t be a Disney animation without wonderful songs and this is now different but I can’t help but find myself not getting them stuck in my head like others (Let it Go, for example) and I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. ‘I Am Moana’ is easily the headline song from the film and captures the character perfectly though.
Going into the characters with the voices behind them now Auli’I gives an amazing performance as Moana with her beautiful singing voice and of course we need to talk about the biggest name in the film Dwayne Johnson and Maui who again is brilliant in his role where he nails the singing and charisma the character needs. We do get great comic relief from a mix of Heihei the chicken and Pua the piglet but otherwise this is a very grounded film that doesn’t introduce too many characters.
Disney could have restored the magic it has been losing with certain recent releases and this sure as hell gets back to what once made them great enjoy the songs, the story, the adventure for it will be special.
Overall: Disney is back and with a boom, move over lazy Pixar sequels the original masterminds are back.