Sunday, December 11, 2016

Film Review: Moana

Moana is going to be difficult to review because much of the discourse surrounding it has been whether or not Disney did a good job portraying Polynesian culture in the film. I can't really speak to that as I'm not Polynesian. I have seen people both praise and criticize the film. Personally, I would never try to say that Disney did a perfect job (I did cringe at the Kakamora), but I did get the sense that they were trying. I do feel that they did a better job than on certain past movies.

As a film, I enjoyed Moana immensely. Disney did some amazing things with it, and I love that some of those things were acknowledged in the film itself. Moana and Maui's exchange about whether or not Moana is a princess was fantastic and had Disney poking fun at its own princess movies. (I do wonder if Moana will be added to the princess lineup in the future. If she is, it might be odd considering her own feelings about being called a princess and the fact that she isn't really, but then again, it would be nice for the princesses to be more diverse.)

Moana has no love interest, much like Merida in Brave (one of my favorite movies), and I am extremely happy about that. She is determined to do everything herself, and in the end, (spoiler alert) she does, even if it's with a little help.

The music was wonderful. I'm in love with "We Know the Way", and it added such a great atmosphere to the film.

While I do take certain criticisms the film has received seriously, it is an enjoyable film, and I think it's a step in the right direction for Disney. I almost feel like this is a step that Pixar took with Brave (which is far too underrated in my opinion) and now Disney Animation is doing the same. Here's hoping for more of that in the future.

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