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. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”) and produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.


What We Thought: 

Moana will be another hit for Disney, but I didn’t think much of it. I’m an adult man without kids, these films do nothing for me. I saw Frozen once and that was more than I should have.

This follows Disney’s tried and true formula and adds nothing new to it. It’s colorful. It has music. There’s dancing. There’s girl power! There’s wacky characters (a pig and a chicken!). There’s a happy ending and maybe you might learn something new. That’s a big maybe though.

I prefer older Disney films that were darker and had less singing. Movies like Bambi or The Lion King where someone died and there was a clear cut bad guy. Today’s Disney is as light as pop radio because it has songs from pop radio.

But that’s all irrelevant because it’s going to make a fortune and your kids (especially your girls) will love it. They’ll own it on DVD and sing along and drive you insane. If your kids loved Frozen, guesss what? You’ll be hearing the monotonous songs of this film over and over again as well.

It’s a shame too because instead of trying to teach kids more about island people, it’s more about the singing. I’m happy Disney is trying to open kids’ eyes to other cultures, but Kubo and the Two Strings is much more educational than this. You see Dwayne Johnson’s character covered in tattoos, why not give some history about what tattoos mean to those people? Teach the kids about sailing and traditions.

Again, none of that matters. If your kids want to see Moana, they will like Moana. I’ll admit I liked the chicken in the movie and laughed at it a lot, but it’s just another Frozen to me. I don’t see what adults get out of these films besides headaches, but young girls will want to be Moana and that’s the point.

Cast & Crew:

  • Auli‘i Cravalho
  • Dwayne Johnson

Recommended If You Like:

  • Frozen
  • Tangled
  • Disney princess flicks

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