Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to fall in love again with Disney, it happened. Moana is the very best of Disney and much much more.
First of all, can I just tell you it doesn’t get much better than your college age son asking you to go see a Disney movie with him. He’s in the Arts and Technology School at The University of Texas at Dallas and recently went to a lecture given by a visiting representative from Disney who was there to discuss their soon to be released feature “Moana”. The lecture went into great detail about the new technology that their animators developed in the making of the movie. One new technology in particular enabled the animators to manipulate each individual hair strand on the characters’ head. Now that you know that you will be as mesmerized as I was watching Moana’s beautiful hair move in every scene of the movie – it’s amazing!
They also discussed the lengths Disney went to to be as accurate as they could in making the movie. The Disney team traveled to the island and researched the Polynesian’s culture by meeting with linguists, anthropologists, historians, and even fishermen to try to be as accurate as they possibly could. Their goal was to both educate and entertain audiences and treat the culture with the respect they deserve. I think they achieved all of the above.
The fictional movie takes place 3,000 years ago in the islands of Polynesia, an area that includes Hawaii, Tonga and Tahiti. The star is 16-year-old Moana, voiced by Hawaiian actress Auli’i Cravalho, who goes on an ocean voyage with Maui, voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Moana defies her family to travel beyond the reefs to save her beloved island and to find her destiny. Mind you, Moana isn’t your usual Disney princess, she’s more like a heroine. She’s beautiful, spunky, brave, defiant, and isn’t afraid to get a little dirty along the way. She’s also not looking for love which is a Disney princess departure. She’s got the demigod Maui for company on this journey but he’s too busy being in love with himself to give her much attention and she really could care less. Their relationship is sweet and refreshing. Their sarcastic banter is pure fun.
The new Disney project is visually stunning, fun of action, and you will love the music! Hamilton creator and theater darling Lin-Manuel Miranda has created some of its best music.
The movie made $82 million over the five-day weekend, placing it behind only “Frozen” (2013) for a Thanksgiving debut and it is sure to be another Disney success. Your kids will love it (no matter what age they are!) so stock up now on all things Moana for Christmas!