MOANA

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

Moana could as well be Every Disney Animated Feature Film Ever. The untiringly rehashed story of two unlikely people bonding together to save the world, realizing they need each other as much as they need themselves has almost turned into its own trope. Its biggest trump card, however, lies in its representation of the people native to the Polynesian islands.

Its cast—Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House and Auli’i Cravahlo, to name a few—seems to have been strategically chosen, keeping in mind the sentiments of the target audience it aims to please. Moreover, Disney Animation Studios is fresh off the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Zootopia, a bare-bones film that, at its core, had a lot going along than one’d expect out of a film aimed at kids.

One could correctly surmise, thus, that hope for the film possibly living up to the standards it’s set still exists.

THE MOVIE

To an extent, the movie does live up.

Its rousing background score, composed lovingly by Mark Mancina, lends most of the film’s scenes their much deserved emotional heft. Moreover, the studios seem to be getting progressively better at creating some of the most stunning photorealistic animation renders ever seen on the big screen. Their rise in technical qualitative wizardry over the past few years has been meteoric, and—thankfully, for us—doesn’t seem to want to stop.

Animation directors Ron Clements and John Muskers (The Princess and the Frog) understand pace and rhythm perfectly, bringing about a certain lightness when it comes to anything that requires movement in a frame, from the perfectly timed visual comedy to the musical numbers. It doesn’t harm that it’s fast and fun; quite the requirement for a film that aims to reach children.

[…] there are often moments that will attempt to break the coldest of hearts.ANKIT OJHA

For adults, there’s not much to see, however. Thanks to Mancina’s music and some terrific voice acting by Dwayne Johnson and Auli’i Cravahlo, there are often moments that will attempt to break the coldest of hearts. That apart, its storytelling follows the same pattern Disney’s animation films always have—be it The Lion KingBrother BearFrozen or their latest offering, all of these films might as well be rebranded spin-offs of each other, lest their separate identities get regressively blurred into uncertainty.

(And if you’re not into the film, you’ll probably not be into the musical numbers either. They can’t seem to flow in the the narrative, and appear, more often than not, to fulfill a need to be yet another Disney animated film aiming for massive popularity).

VERDICT

Moana is fast, fun, and definitely aims to call for a broader representation, as has progressively been witnessed in most of their films these past few years. That apart, it’s an often unoriginal rehash of most of Disney’s previous reworks and never fails to consistently elicit deja vu time and again. Despite this, it remains watchable enough, and—thanks to a mixture of some creative and technical storytelling elements—manages to shake viewers’ emotional core on numerous occasions. it doesn’t harm, of course, that the dazzling, consistently photorealistic animation might just manage to make your jaw drop a few times.

It might not be a Zootopia or an Inside Out, but if you’re looking to catch up on some much-needed dose of Disney, this should be just perfect.

Watch the trailer here:

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Star Rating:

Plot

Breaking free from the clutches of her father, Moana (Auli’i Cravahlo)–daughter of the chief of her quaint island–finds an unlikely ally in Mau’i (Dwayne Johnson) in a journey that will save the fate of thousands of her own.

Cast

Dwayne Johnson
Auli’i Cravahlo
Rachel House

Director

Ron Clements
John Musker

Rated

PG

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Cast Dwayne Johnson
Auli’i Cravahlo
Rachel House
Director Ron Clements
John Musker
Star Rating

THE PLOT

Breaking free from the clutches of her father, Moana (Auli’i Cravahlo)–daughter of the chief of her quaint island–finds an unlikely ally in Mau’i (Dwayne Johnson) in a journey that will save the fate of thousands of her own.

PRE-SCREENING MUSINGS

Moana could as well be Every Disney Animated Feature Film Ever. The untiringly rehashed story of two unlikely people bonding together to save the world, realizing they need each other as much as they need themselves has almost turned into its own trope. Its biggest trump card, however, lies in its representation of the people native to the Polynesian islands.

Its cast—Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House and Auli’i Cravahlo, to name a few—seems to have been strategically chosen, keeping in mind the sentiments of the target audience it aims to please. Moreover, Disney Animation Studios is fresh off the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Zootopia, a bare-bones film that, at its core, had a lot going along than one’d expect out of a film aimed at kids.

One could correctly surmise, thus, that hope for the film possibly living up to the standards it’s set still exists.

THE MOVIE

Setting sail

To an extent, the movie does live up.

Its rousing background score, composed lovingly by Mark Mancina, lends most of the film’s scenes their much deserved emotional heft. Moreover, the studios seem to be getting progressively better at creating some of the most stunning photorealistic animation renders ever seen on the big screen. Their rise in technical qualitative wizardry over the past few years has been meteoric, and—thankfully, for us—doesn’t seem to want to stop.

Animation directors Ron Clements and John Muskers (The Princess and the Frog) understand pace and rhythm perfectly, bringing about a certain lightness when it comes to anything that requires movement in a frame, from the perfectly timed visual comedy to the musical numbers. It doesn’t harm that it’s fast and fun; quite the requirement for a film that aims to reach children.

[…] there are often moments that will attempt to break the coldest of hearts.ANKIT OJHA

For adults, there’s not much to see, however. Thanks to Mancina’s music and some terrific voice acting by Dwayne Johnson and Auli’i Cravahlo, there are often moments that will attempt to break the coldest of hearts. That apart, its storytelling follows the same pattern Disney’s animation films always have—be it The Lion KingBrother BearFrozen or their latest offering, all of these films might as well be rebranded spin-offs of each other, lest their separate identities get regressively blurred into uncertainty.

(And if you’re not into the film, you’ll probably not be into the musical numbers either. They can’t seem to flow in the the narrative, and appear, more often than not, to fulfill a need to be yet another Disney animated film aiming for massive popularity).

Captain Hook

VERDICT

Moana is fast, fun, and definitely aims to call for a broader representation, as has progressively been witnessed in most of their films these past few years. That apart, it’s an often unoriginal rehash of most of Disney’s previous reworks and never fails to consistently elicit deja vu time and again. Despite this, it remains watchable enough, and—thanks to a mixture of some creative and technical storytelling elements—manages to shake viewers’ emotional core on numerous occasions. it doesn’t harm, of course, that the dazzling, consistently photorealistic animation might just manage to make your jaw drop a few times.

It might not be a Zootopia or an Inside Out, but if you’re looking to catch up on some much-needed dose of Disney, this should be just perfect.

Watch trailer here:

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

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