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Review: Moana, Disney’s Next Sure Thing

Moana has been highly anticipated since its announce date and it definitely lives up to the hype. With an amazing cast, lifting score, and enchanting story line, it is a film that people
of all ages will enjoy.

Let’s start by giving you a summary of the plot. Our main character is of course, Moana. Moana is a teenage girl who loves the ocean and her village.

Her dream since she was a little girl was to go and explore the ocean but her dad, the village chief, forbids anyone from going beyond the reef. Tui (Moana’s dad) also wants Moana to realize that her
future lies in her eventually taking his place as the village chief. Moana finally finds the only person who has the same passion for the ocean as she does, her grandmother.

Moana finds the courage to go past the reef but the waves throw her overboard and she injures herself on a piece of coral. This makes her think that she should just focus on
becoming the chief until her grandma shows her a secret cavern on the island.

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This cavern holds all of the ships that her ancestors used to sail and explore. Moana then discovers
the real reason she must go on her voyage. Her grandma gives her the ‘Heart of Te Fiti’ which she must return in order to save her island.

When Moana was younger she found the heart while playing in the water but dropped it when
her father found her. Her grandma picked up the heart and kept it in a necklace that she
wore.

In order to return the heart, Moana must find a demi-god named Maui and bring
him to the island of Te Fiti to restore the heart. What is ironic about this is that
Maui is the main reason the heart is missing. He stole it in order to make anything
his people wanted so they would always be happy with him.

After Maui retrieved the heart he ran into Te Ka, a lava throwing demi-god, who fought Maui since she also wanted the heart. Te Ka knocks Maui into the water causing the heart to float away.

When Moana first meets Maui he is on an island that he’s been stuck
on for 1,000 years. He tries leaving Moana in a cave but she escapes. Maui keeps
trying to get rid of her but finally realizes Moana is a fighter who won’t stop till she
succeeds.

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The first thing they must do is get Maui’s hook back since that is where
he gets all of his powers from. A crab called Tamatoa keeps the hook in his massive
collection of ‘shiny things’ on his island of Lalotai. Moana impresses Maui by
causing a distraction allowing them to escape the crab.

On their journey to Te Fiti they grow a friendship and Maui teaches her how to become a wayfinder. They finally arrive at their destination. This is when they run into Te Ka who does not
want them to get to the island.

They do not make it on their first attempt which makes Maui very upset since Moana didn’t listen to him when he told her to turn around. He leaves Moana in the middle of the ocean but she is greeted by her grandmother who died right before she left on her journey.

Moana decides she needs to go back herself and when it looks like Te Ka is going to win again, Maui comes back to defend Moana. I’m going to stop here to avoid any spoilers but rest assured there are a number of surprises in store.

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My thoughts: I personally think this is one of the best movies Disney has made in a
while and the theme is really strong. Moana isn’t just a role model for women
but for everyone. She shows that no matter what, you should never give up on your
dreams even when people doubt you.

You will meet Pui and HeiHei who provide a lot of humor in the movie. I wish we could have seen more of Pua but Heihei had a good amount of screen time and wasn’t overused.

The music was really well composed but still not the best Disney has done.
Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and sang very well as I expected, and I really enjoyed
how the songs tie into the theme.

The only song I did not like was ‘Shiny’ which Tamatoa sings. I thought it was just a way to add another song and wasn’t needed.

I really hope Moana and maybe Maui gets some attention in the Disney Parks. So far she is visiting
in Disney’s Aulani Resort and the Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World. It also looks like
she will also be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland in the near future.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to everyone. I think
we can all learn from Moana and relate to her as well. I hope you all enjoyed this
review and please let me know your thoughts on the movie in the comments below.

Noah

 

P.S: Look for some familiar characters in the scene where Moana finds the heart.

Moana, cast information

Noah Cory
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Noah Cory

Noah is 15 and lives in New York. He loves all things Disney but especially the parks and resorts. You can find him on Instagram @noah_4soccer and on Facebook at Noah Cory.
Noah Cory
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