I entered the movie theater with no expectations whatsoever. And yes, it should be pronounced as Mo-a-na, not Mow-na.
This review will contain spoilers. You have been warned.
At the start of the movie, it hits me that the casting is almost the same as the movie Mulan, minus the masquerading as a guy part and a love angle. She is the only daughter, her father is strict, her grandmother assists her in breaking the rules — the pig and chicken represents the dog and the cricket in the former movie.
But no, Maui isn’t Shang. He’s Mushu and the ocean is the horse (duh).
While it is refreshing that it’s not another damsel in distress story, there are still some parts that could’ve improved he overall story. I am not saying that the movie is not good, it is good, as I bawled while watching it, most of the time. It’s just that there are scenes that they could’ve done with a better presentation, in my perspective.
So, the gist of the story is that Moana is the only child of the chief of their tribe. Her grandmother had told everyone the stories of their people, which includes Maui, the demigod; and how he stole the heart of Te Fiti. Te Fiti is a goddess who possess the power to create anything.
Growing up, Moana loved the ocean and seems the ocean loved her in return because it played with her.
Disaster strike in their tribe, her grandmother died and she sailed away to find Maui to return the heart to its rightful owner. Of course, Maui had other plans and hence a different back story was presented in the middle of the movie why he is selfish to begin with.
Story-wise, like I said, it is OK. They used tearjerker lines that made me cry a lot (and I was alone when I watched this). The comedy is still there, like any Disney animation and the morals of the story still shine thru.
Is this my new favorite movie from Disney? Not in a long shot. I don’t think it really answered the question Moana had asked when she was doubting herself — Why me?
And instead of a self-realization, she had to rely on her grandmother to make her realize why she was chosen or why is she the one to perform this task with Maui.
The music of the movie is nice, but not catchy enough for me. Out of the songs that was sung in the movie, the only music that I remember is when Moana was seeing the past and understanding that her forefathers were voyagers who explored the ocean to seek out new islands.
The graphics is what I would’ve expected with Disney. I have no problems in that area.
Overall, the movie is good. Not something I would be re-watching but still you must see it at least once. Bring a lot of tissues and enjoy the ride.