“I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat and restore the Heart of Te Fiti.”
So I just decided to watch this on a whim since Disney’s works were pretty nice lately since “Zootopia” 😀 , and it did not disappoint; “Moana” delivers pure joy through its energetic execution of great musicals and plot development, all while leaving the viewers stunned with amazement for Disney’s usual visual spectacle.
“Moana” tells the courageous tale of a titular girl who is chosen by the ocean to save the world from corroding due to Maui’s (a demigod) who stole the Heart of Te Fiti. Te Fiti is the goddess of creation who created and blessed the earth with the power of nature. However, plenty of individuals would like to steal her Heart to obtain her power, and Maui was the only one successful. Despite so, he dropped his magical hook and the Heart of Te Fiti after being defeated by Te Kā, the demon of fire. Hence, Moana from the island of Motunui, dreaming of sailing since little, holds the responsibility to find Maui and his magical hook, as well as convincing him to return the Heart of Te Fiti to its rightful place, or risk the world’s impending doom.
Moana and Maui are pure lovable characters; their interactions are comical, humorous, and are able to deliver the core messages regarding resilience and the refusal to fall into despair right on point. From Moana’s occasional teasing behavior, seriousness, and tenacity, to Maui’s early haughtiness and his great jokes, the two characters are so different, yet perfectly complement each other throughout the course of the movie. Their chemistry renders the movie free of tedium and fills it with constant laughs with an equally constant emotion-stirring moments.
Speaking of emotion-stirring moments, the movie does not simply tell the story of Moana and Maui’s struggle in recovering the magical hook as well as the Heart of Te Fiti, but it also narrates the tale of escaping the confined island of Motunui, as the head of the village does not allow anyone to go outside of the reefs; aside from that, there is the fallout between the two characters when there are conflicts of interest as well as when facing against the hopelessness of being shrouded in despair. With several side-conflicts, some may believe that this movie can be somehow confusing, but “Moana” is anything but that; the movie’s power to stay consistent with the main conflict while exploring the psyche of its characters is just commendable.
Lately, movies are getting more and more complicated that no clear plot is introduced until the middle of the movie, and even then, overly idealistic solutions are scattered at every corner; “Moana” provides not only a consistent storytelling, but also including all the things that the movies nowadays lack; a simple and understandable storyline in a neat structure, along with rich character development. Perhaps all of this is possible through its sole two primary characters rather then introducing plenty of them, risking a proper depth into them.
Oh, and the musics, the musics are just plain nice to hear; most of its songs, even the ones sang by the ‘bad guys’ are nicely integrated into the story, not creating a sudden, unseemly transition. More importantly, they are so good that they may stick in your mind for days, if not longer. I know I said that I’m not a musical fan before “Trolls”, but “Moana” completely refreshes my opinion towards the genre.
This right here is definitely one of this years’ leading animation masterpieces; with its magical narrative and witty engagements, “Moana” is certainly enchanting.
Rating from me: 4/5