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Moana: Coming to a DVD Near You

By Ivy Neal, Writer

Ivy Neal, Writer

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For all of you with younger (especially female) siblings, you know the struggle when any Disney movie is released.  It’s a mad dash to the movie theater to see the latest princess/fairy/mermaid/dog/singing  film available.

Often your parents bail out, and it’s up to you to teach your sibling the proper princess movie etiquette of smuggling in water bottles and stale candy into the movie theater undetected.  And let’s be honest, either you get extremely, embarrassingly, far over hyped about this animated film or you spend the entire hour and a half playing candy crush; there is simply no in between.

However, the latest Disney film- Moana is one written for all ages and promises guaranteed enjoyment to all of its viewers.

Right from the beginning its no secret that the princess of the hour is a headstrong, independent female who is rebelling against her father and his strict rules of island behavior and ocean sailing bans. While this might sound like a typical behavior for any Disney princess (and their strict fathers),  Moana is not quickly discouraged.

The movie then moves on from its traditional screenplay roots when Moana forms an equally willful ally with her grandmother.  She is then told the tales and legends of her Pacific Ocean Island ancestors. Digging into the mythology and folklore of the Pacific Islanders, Moana is told of the (unintentional) curse brought about by the demigod Maui after he stole the heart of Te Fiti (the goddess of earth as the mother island).

Because Te Fiti’s heart has the power to create life and island land masses, after it is stolen a curse is put forth which causes a “great darkness” to spread, thus extinguishing life and much needed island resources.  It is then up to the princess Moana, as it is her destiny according to the myth to not only find this demigod Maui, but fight the elements and ocean monster lore to return the sacred heart of Te Fiti and restore the balance of mankind.

While the remainder of the movie may remind you of a toned down and animated version of Odysseus, you will no doubt fall in love with the endearing and dramatic scenes of wit and overcoming triumph which Moana is sure to provide you. Moana supplies a movie which allows the lead character to become the heroine leading and saving all with her intelligence instead of simply being the princess being rescued. She remains kind and thoughtful as well as bold and brave. She works with her male counterpart as a partner with teamwork instead of as a sideline observer.

Moana not only gives children another princess to adore but also embellishes key characteristics of any strong leader and charismatic personality.

Moana is a thoughtful and tasteful movie which can bond together all Disney lovers despite their generational age differences. In fact many older viewers may be drawn to the theaters in order to see the big name actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson play Maui, the overconfident and brash demigod.

True to any animated film there is some singing involved. However, in Moana, the viewers can expect when a song is coming due to the shift in musical overtones.

Furthermore, the singing kicks in during the character’s passionate emotional outbreaks, which is very much appreciated, instead of random intervals of music. In fact I enjoyed the witty and motivational songs so much that I bought the CD to play it in my car, in order to successfully serenade all nearby passengers.

  So watch it, love it and welcome Moana to the Disney Princess list!   

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Moana: Coming to a DVD Near You