‘Moana’ film review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
If you saw Inside Out, you saw the short film called Lava—which is about a volcano falling in love with another volcano—and it might have reminded you of a trip to Hawaii. Now, imagine the same short film for almost two hours and you will be amazed by the things that you can see in Hawaii. Moana shows the early history of Hawaii and highlights the islands. The film has a lot of beautiful images of the villages in Hawaii and the canoes that they use.
When the food on Motunui starts to disappear, the ocean chooses Moana Waialiki (Auli’i Cravalho) to find the shapeshifting god Maui (Dwayne Johnson) to help her put the heart of Te Fiti back in the island before the rest of the islands disappear.
I expected that Maui would be the main character of the film, but it appears that Moana is the protagonist. This continues a trend in Disney films today in which the main character of a film is a woman—like Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Rey from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Judy Hopps from Zootopia, Jyn Erso from Star Wars: Rogue One, and, now, Moana Waialiki. However, the film shows Moana and Maui working together during various situations. For example, when they try to get Maui’s fishhook back from a crab named Tamatoa, Moana distracts him while Maui tries to get his fishhook back.
The film has music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’I, and Mark Mancina. The songs in it may not wow you as much as the songs in Frozen, but there are four songs in the film that I like. There is the song in the beginning of the film, in typical Disney style, that explains the people on Motunui as Moana grows up. There is a song when Moana sees a flashback showing that her people were voyagers. And there is a song when Maui explains the many myths in Hawaii. Also, there is a song that Tamatoa sings that sounds like the style of David Bowie.
Before Moana begins, a short film called Inner Workings is shown. The short is similar to Inside Out, except that it also shows the other parts of the body. The options that the main character in it has to choose from are similar to the options faced by the main character in Premium Rush.
Moana shows the things that the people in Hawaii did in the past and the many stories that they told. There are interesting moments from Moana’s rooster, Heihei, and the tattoo version of Maui, and you will probably like them. The film could get the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in the Academy Awards next year, although there are other animated films that could win the award instead.
Moana is sure to educate you about Hawaii and entertain you at the same time.