Last week my children and I were invited to preview an advanced screening of Disney’s newest title : MOANA. Keeping my mouth shut about it until it was released into theatres has been tough! But now that it’s available for ticket sales – let’s talk about it in this MOANA review.
Disney’s MOANA | The Story
Disney’s MOANA begins 3,000 years ago when the greatest sailors in the world voyaged the Pacific in search of new islands. They used the stars, the waves, and the currents to guide them in a method called Wayfinding. Then one day it stopped and no one knew why.
Years later, Moana (who was set to follow in her family’s footsteps of being the chief of their island) finds herself mysteriously drawn to the ocean. Despite everyone telling her not to go, Moana decides to set out on her own journey across the Pacific to find the demigod Maui, restore the heart of the island, and save her people. Along the way she faces numerous challenges and despite having people doubt her and sometimes doubting herself, she somehow finds the courage to carry on and follow her dreams and ultimately pursue her destiny.
It’s true, Moana is the newest Disney princess but she’s more than that – she’s a hero.
It’s Good to Be Yourself | A Message for Everyone
Personally, I loved that Disney brought out such a strong, independent, and heroic character in Moana. Even though several of the characters struggled with expectations of trying to be who others thought they SHOULD be, they ultimately allowed us to see that it’s better to be yourself.
Isn’t this the type of message you want your children to see, boys and girls included? I think so too and I was happy to find that this movie was designed to cater to everyone. In fact, during the movie, I noticed that both my son and daughter were laughing, crying, and cheering together – their attention was peaked throughout the entire film! Finally, as we walked out of the theatre, they both exclaimed in unison that “we NEED to buy that one when it comes out on DVD”.
I’d have to agree. This one has the makings of a classic.
MOANA | The Music
If there is one thing Disney excels at, it is creating an incredible and catchy soundtrack. This movie is no different. Throughout the entire film, I found myself moving in my seat to a beat that pays homage to the Polynesian roots on which this story is based.
This incredible score is the work of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina, and Samoan artist Opetaia Foa’i. Below is one of my favorite songs – check it out.
I really think the songs are catchy and cute. In fact, I’ve already bought the (aff) soundtrack so my kids and I can recreate the scenes together in my car. Just saying.
MOANA | The Characters
After reading further about the creation process for MOANA, I was delighted to see that the writers took great care in telling a genuine story. They even traveled to Oceana to meet with the elders and hear their stories before creating the story line. This dedication really shows throughout the film.
They also chose stellar actors to play the roles created such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Maui and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as the voice of “Moana”. See some of the work that went into finding the perfect voice of Moana.
Overall, we loved the film! It brought together stories of family, adventure, friendship, and joy. This is definitely a film that my family will enjoy watching time and time again.
MOANA is now in theaters! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Have a question about the film? Leave it below. But no spoilers! 🙂
Click here for FREE MOANA printable activity sheets.
Disclosure: We were invited to a free media preview for this movie. All opinions are our own.