Moana is a spectacular adventure movie. Charged with returning the heart of the goddess Te Fiti, Moana leaves her island nation and sails away on her mission. I absolutely love the animation of this movie. The ocean is a character in and of itself because of the creative team’s work. Some of my favorite moments though are those of Moana’s introspection and self-realization. Moana is a very different Disney “princess.” First of all, she rejects the word princess, and she has her own agenda, making the decision to follow her draw to the ocean. Also, she alone solves the mystery of Te Ka in order to save Te Fiti.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful music that sets Moana soaring. While I love Auliʻi Cravalho‘s voice (the voice of Moana) and “How Far I’ll Go,” my favorite songs are the ones that are sung in Tokelauan. Lastly, I would encourage you to seek out reviews from Pacific Islander reviewers to speak to the culture represented in the movie. This Buzzfeed article is a great round-up of dialogue, and so is this review from Strange Horizons.
All in all, I think Moana is a genuine, worthwhile story and a great Disney film that will stay with you long after the credits roll.