Quick look: Moana

Photo courtesy of TheVerge.com

Photo courtesy of TheVerge.com

How far will you go? That’s the sentiment behind Disney’s latest box office animated hit, Moana, which surfed into theaters this past November and scored the nomination for Best Animated Picture at the Academy Awards.

For years, Disney’s animated films have to been subject to following the same old equation for success, which often includes a frilly princess destined to find some sort of heteronormative true love. Luckily, in 2017 Disney animators rewrote the equation and gave female characters a new light in a male-driven film industry. Moana is a warrior capable of controlling her own destiny—far from a damsel in distress.

Transporting all the way back to the source of Polynesian mythology, a brazen and curious girl, Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) explores what it means to leave her mark in a community with a rich culture and heritage. She continues to defy a history that limited her ability to grow and conquer the world, despite the control of others. Along her journey she meets Maui (Dwayne Johnson), a legendary shapeshifting demigod who aids her along the way with her loopy feathered sidekick HeiHei. The story unfolds as they conquer the unknown and treacherous Pacific Ocean, filled with sweet musical moments and action packed scenes.

Moana was directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, the masterminds who brought audiences nostalgic films like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. They concocted this new adventure to leave a splash for generations to come. Like other films in its portfolio, Disney is known for beautiful and riveting animation. The vivid animation helps immerse viewers into the world of Moana, elevating the story experience for all.

Aside from the supreme animation, the music is glitzy, yet empowering all at the same time. With the help of Hamilton superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda, Disney scored themselves another classic soundtrack by having him write a majority of the songs featured in the film. Not only did he help create one of the largest blockbusters in Broadway history, but was able to incorporate his musical expertise and success into this mythical flick.

Years from now, people will be talking about Moana just how they talk about the many other beloved Disney flicks. Moana changed the game, which suits well with 2017 being the call for the empowerment and strengthening of women across the world.

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