Disney’s Moana

Mahalo Love Bugs!

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I have had this urge to see Disney’s newest film, Moana, ever since I heard Lin Manuel Miranda and The Rock were involved with the movie (insert swoon here)!  Luckily, the wait is over, so I decided to check it out during it’s opening weekend with a few of my students who met up with me at the theater.  Here are the five reasons as to why I loved Moana (and why you will too!

5.  The Storyline

There is not other film company on earth that can produce and execute stories the way Disney does!  Moana tells the story of a determined daughter of a chief who has a desire to save her country by making a journey across the ocean. This film is set about 2,000 years ago in the South Pacific where the heart of Te Fiti, an island goddess was stolen from Maui, a demigod, which caused the islands of Te Fiti to be cursed, leaving Moana’s land endangered.  I don’t want to give away too much, but along the way, she must learn to sail and uses the call of the ocean to find Maui that will help her complete her journey and do what is right for her country.   I love how the story included so many different feelings!  There were tears, laughs, and of course, all of those moments that tugged at your heart strings!

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4. The Characters

Each of the characters in Moana have such unique and distinct personalities, which is what makes the story so great!  Moana (played by Auli’i Car is such a young, determined individual who defies what it is like to have courage and conviction.  Maui (played by the Rock), is a self confident demigod who has some really great character and charm.  While the two main characters are amazing, I have to say, Moana’s grandmother and HeiHei (the chicken) are my absolute favorite.  They are so hysterical, I was doubled over laughing.  The characters also allow the audience to connect and relate to themselves which is really unique.

3. The  Culture

As the years have passed, Disney has done an amazing job of incorporating many cultures and including diversity into their upcoming animated films.  What I love so much about Moana is that it truly encompasses the Polynesian culture, which has never been done before.  It is also the first film to be translated to the Tahitian language!  The inspiration from the film was not only drawn from the Polynesian islands, but from Bora Bora, Hawaii, Fiji, and Tetiaroa (just to name a few).  I enjoyed being exposed to such a beautiful culture full of life and diversity and I love that other Polynesians and islanders can relate to the film and their characters.  Its a great way for children to learn about other countries as well.  The music also has a huge role in the portrayal of the Polynesian lifestyle.  Lin Manuel Miranda did an epic job at incorporating their language and rhythm into the songs of the movie.  I loved them so much, I just downloaded the entire soundtrack on iTunes!

2. Animation

All I needed was a bikini, some shades, and a splash of water and I honestly would have felt I was right in the middle of the South Pacific as well.  It is so incredible to feel like you are right there in the islands with the characters.  The water is crystal clear and the views are stunning.  The technology and computer animation seem to be raising the bar each and every time these films are made, and Moana hold the highest standard by far!

1. The Theme

I am all about the girl power, and this movie exudes nothing less.  This fearless young lady is truly an inspiration to all little girls and boys who want to fulfill their dreams.  I love how Moana’s determination to do what is right, even when she reaches some major bumps along the road, is enough for her to reach her ultimate goal.  She figures out what each problem is and attempts to solve it independently.  I definitely felt a sense of pride with her by the end of the film.  The bet part though, was that she didn’t need a prince charming to do any of it!  Her self-intrinsic motivation and desire prove that sometimes we can do things if we really put our mind to it.  Pretty great motivation to the little ones if you ask me!

***Bonus:  The short before Moana is absolutely adorable and a must see!  Make sure you get to the theater on time to see it!  Also, make sure you relax in your seat until the credits are over!  There is a funny clip with a reference to one of Ariel’s friends that you will not want to miss!***

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Based on these amazing concepts, I give Moana a  full five out of five stars!

5 out of 5 stars

Were you able to catch Moana in theaters?  What did you think? Comment below!

XO, NAT

Disclosure:  All opinions and images are my own.  Credit has been given to photos that I do not own.

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