The kids and I watched Moana over the weekend. It was my youngest son’s birthday so we made a party out of it. He didn’t want a Polynesian theme party. Instead, he insisted on dinosaurs. He’s into that right now, so we had a dino-theme Moana birthday party. I know that’s a weird combo, but it’s really hard to argue with the birthday boy. Plus we had a really fun time. The little guy laughed a lot during the animated film — especially the scenes with Heihei the chicken. If you have not seen Moana yet, you should. We highly recommend the movie. It’s a fun flick for the entire family. Moana is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. Note: I received a movie kit from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (WDSMP) for reviewing Moana on my dad blog. As always, the opinions expressed are mine and I am not obligated to write a positive review.
Before I get into the story, I want to mention that we watched Moana on our non-Smart TV via Disney Movies Anywhere and Google Chromecast. Without Chromecast, we would not have been able to watch the digital version of Moana on our flat screen. It’s not one of those smart TV’s and doesn’t have apps that let you watch films via digital streaming services. Disney Movies Anywhere via Chromecast is very convenient and I don’t have to worry about the kids accidentally scratching the disc. BTW, there are 17 bonus features available with my digital movie.
Moana starts off with the demigod Maui stealing the heart of Te Fiti. While escaping, Maui loses the mystical stone and his magical hook that gives him the ability to shape shift into an animal. Over time, the missing stone causes life to die off from island to island. In order to save the world, Moana has to return the stone to the goddess Te Fiti. But Moana’s dad is the chief of their island and forbids everyone from going past the reefs. Then Moana discovers their ancestors were voyagers, so she disobeys her her father and sets sail to save her people.
The Disney film is a funny story about Moana’s quest to save her island. But the movie is also about an adventurous and daring girl making a connection with her ancestors’ traditions. I wish we knew more about our ancestors and their traditions. We don’t have a lot of old traditions passed down from one generation to the next. I think the only major tradition that we follow is the one where we give kids lucky money in red envelopes during Chinese New Year. My kids really love that one!
The two stars of the animated movie are Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) and Dwayne Johnson (Maui). I thought they were both wonderful as the voices of the two main characters. They were also excellent as singers too. There were a lot of musical numbers in the film — kinda of like Frozen. Other voice talents include Rachel House (Gramma Tala), Temuera Morrison (Chief Tui and Moana’s dad), Jemaine Clement (Tamatoa the giant crab), and Nicole Scherzinger (Moana’s mother).
For centuries, the greatest sailors in the world masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, 3,000 years ago, their voyages stopped for a millennium — and no one knows exactly why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Moana was directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog) and produced by Osnat Shurer (Lifted, One Man Band). The film featured music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i.