Hello! I know I’m late to the game but I just saw Moana for the first time and I (predictably) really enjoyed it.
The animation was beautiful and the characters complex even if the story line was a bit simplistic but perfect for kids to follow. I really enjoyed the music and it didn’t seem super forced or annoying. Also the movie was funny. I mean, seriously, I wasn’t really expecting it to be so funny. In a weird way this movie reminded me of Tangled (in the best ways) despite the obviously intentional lack of a love story in this movie (which I found very refreshing – I think as I get older I realize the importance of girl power unfettered by love). There was a scene on a boat (I mean, most of the movie happens on a boat) that seemed very reminiscent of Tangled’s boat scene. I also really liked learning a little bit about their culture (I don’t know how accurate it is but I liked the idea that the island was a woman). I really appreciated the grandma’s character and how all the women in this film have depth to them. I also really appreciated how Maui’s tattoos seemed kind of reminiscent of the muses in Hercules. I think they managed the balance between ‘reality’ and a world full of god and monsters pretty well overall.
Things I didn’t like/was confused about:
-the pig. I mean, I am seriously so confused about the pig. From the trailers and such I had assumed that the pig would have a much larger role in the film but it mostly seemed irrelevant. Cute, but ultimately irrelevant and confusing.
-her father’s sudden change of heart. Disney still is not the best with the endings of their movies. She wraps up her quest and then comes home and suddenly everything is perfect. Just a wee bit too perfect for me but I realize that anything else would make the movie super long.
-the chicken. I think a lot of people love the chicken and I mean, it definitely added humor to the movie so maybe that’s why he’s there but he kind of felt like Olaf to me (humorous and cute but ultimately not super important to the plot…) but I guess every girl needs an animal side kick
-the village hierarchy. So her father is the chief which means she is apparently the next chief but all the other chiefs have been men(it’s definitely a patriarchal society) so how come she is suddenly the one to be chief? There is some guy who appears to maybe be her brother and it would make more sense for him to become the next chief. I’m all for girl power and female leaders but I guess I wished we had seen some other female leaders in the past and then it wouldn’t have felt so weird to me…
Overall I really enjoyed this movie and I would watch it again and show it to my family and friends etc. I really appreciated how it didn’t include any adult humor (at least none that I saw) and yet (at least to me) was engaging for older audiences as well. And ultimately a huge shout out to girl power. Disney tried to do something similar when they made Brave but it just fell short. The crude humor and harshness of Brave I think detracted from what they were trying to do. In Moana we are instead transported to a tropical paradise where a girl can save the world (with the help of a demi-god).