“Moana” continues Disney legacy of greatness

Emily Hudson, staff writer

Moana was released in the U.S. on Nov. 23, 2016, to the delight of every Disney fan, young and old. It made $81.1 million over the five day Thanksgiving break, which isn’t surprising considering all the families that could attend together.

If you watched the adorable trailers Disney released, this movie was going to be another characteristic show about the young heroine saving her people and discovering herself. However, Disney strayed slightly by portraying a Polynesian village and their culture. Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) was destined by the ocean to go on a journey with demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) to save her island of Motunui. For Moana to leave, she had to disobey her father (Temuera Morrison) by going beyond the reef. Moana’s main supporter was her grandmother (Rachel House), who was the village crazy lady. Moana took to the sea (for reasons that made me cry) and set sail with the ocean on her side. After a struggle, Moana convinced Maui to help her on her quest to restore the heart of Te Fiti, which Maui had previously stolen. As the duo sailed across the ocean, they were soon met with comedic, singing crabs, a senseless rooster, and a ruthless lava monster. If you watch, you’ll see just how far she’ll go while humming along with “The Rock” during Maui’s version of “You’re Welcome.”

The basic outline may seem like classic Disney, which it is, but the animation is amazing. Not many people get the opportunity to go to Hawaii, so this film exceeds the standards of what animated flowers and tropics can be. After Frozen, many people, including me, didn’t think they could match the successful film, but I think Moana could come close. The two shows are actually created by the same people, so it’s no wonder Moana can match the magic. On an actor level, no one compares to the voice of Idina Menzel (Elsa), except for the creative genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda, mastermind of Hamilton: An American Musical. Moana composers Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina, and Opetaia Foa’i wrote incredible music to encourage the characters throughout the movie. The music was as stunning as the beauty of Polynesian itself.

Overall, Moana was a beautiful, touching movie that I enjoyed watching with my little sister. Frozen fans will enjoy this flawless animation and these lovable characters of the Polynesian islands. Moana will move and inspire you to new experiences and adventures.