Moana or in danish Vaiana, don’t ask me why they changed the name for a danish audience, is directed by Ron Clements and Don Hall and staring the famous The Rock as the voice of the demi-god Maui and the unknown Auli’i Cravalho as the voice of Moana. Let’s just get this over with: It was a wonderful movie. It was an amazing visual experience and the music was great and catchy. The whole caribbean enviroment was well detailed and I found myself wanting to be at these warm, sandy beaches with the jungle in the background. Maybe it is also because I am at a cold place at the present moment. It is marts but it still freezing cold outside my house and just the thought of being at a warmer place made my day ten times better. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t judge a movie based my current life situation…but I want to give a sincere thanks to Disney Studios for choosing to released this movie during wintertime and not when it is summer.
Then the music. It was excellent! Both the songs and the track itself was full of memorable pieces that just fit the story very well and gave this perfect atmosphere on this beautiful sea, the sandy beaches, and who in their greatest mind would have thought Dwayne Johnson, The Rock, could sing?! What…!? But he manages to do it, and it sounds good. I mean, it sounds REALLY good. At least within what you would have thought possible.
And both Cravalho and Johnson does a great job with the voiceacting. I have no single spot to note on that front. I would even totally praise this movie for having the guts to simply stay focused on a few characters instead of giving us a whole bunch of them. The chicken was definite the comic relief but its stupidity worked as a fun and entertaining clown. Even though it served no real function for the development of the plot or the message of the movie.
And here is what I really like about many Disney movies, especially the ones from the Golden Era, they all had something they wanted to tell us. They aren’t made just to give us entertainment but also to provide us with a moral or message about life and the world. Yes, you can argue that the endings might be too nice and sweet, but the point has never been about portraying the real world but to make us wonder and allow us to dream about the world we really want and want to strive for. I really respect that about Disney even when it is a big concern buying everything…Marvel, Star Wars…
The thing about Moana that I felt was a bit strange was that it lacked something that truly made it stand out from the rest of the Disney movies that have been produced. It was really solid and wellcrafted animation movie but I feel that the movie will be forgotten among the great classics. In fact, I didn’t give the movie much thought the day after I had watched it. The only feeling I had was that it was a good movie but it didn’t have the scenes that really made me remember the movie clearly. Maybe the ending was just not sharp enough to really install emotions in me. The ending could have been a bit more sharp and emotional. I didn’t really feel anything at the end. But even without the ending the movie still lacked the originality that would make us remember it. I think we have just been thrsough the same type plot before and the themes has also been seen before. We have seen many of the elements before and it doesn’t create much new with the same elements.
So bottomline, I was really entertained by this movie. It had something it wanted to tell us, it was funny, the music was lovely while the visuals was stunning and warming. An excellent animation movie but it did lack something that would have made it stand out from other excellent animation movies. For that I will give Moana a solid 10 on my rating scale. I wish I could give it the last nudge to the topgrade…but maybe time will tell if we remember this movie.
So, after watching Moana I am now turning my boat towards movies like Logan and King Kong. A very exciting journey awaits me and hopefully the destination will be worth the travel…Skull Island here we come!