This post originally started out as a review—until I realised that I was struggling for words. I have too many feelings. I’ve just finished watching this beautiful masterpiece and if I can say one thing about this movie it is that I am absolutely floored.
Words can and cannot describe how ecstatic I was to see Moana and the long wait was worth it! If I were to give a review of it in person, all you’ll be getting out of me is incoherent screaming and excited hand flailing.There were also several moments where I got Lilo and Stitch vibes from this movie. To which I say OMFG YES!! Lilo and Stitch is my all-time favourite Disney movie. I was yelling! The number of times I had to hold back from squealing in excitement in the cinema, you will need more fingers you have on you. I didn’t want it to be over.
So I won’t be saying too much in this post because spoiler-free purposes also because I’m a sensible human being. I will put my thoughts in list form because this is the only I’m going to get anything written, so here goes:
Now that that’s out of the way..
It’s a movie starring Polynesian people?! And all lead roles are voiced by ACTUAL POLYNESIAN PEOPLE AND THOSE OF POLYNESIAN HERITAGE??
How incredibly rare is this??
EVERYTHING IS WELL-RESEARCHED AND TRUE TO POLYNESIAN CULTURE
Talk about representation! I give all my applause to the Disney team. It’s incredible how much time and effort was dedicated to research. Right down to every last detail. I am in awe and so, so grateful for it.
IT’S SO FUCKING GORGEOUS
This is honestly one of the best animated movie Disney’s ever produced. And I’m only speaking in terms of animation style. The level of detail incorporated into it is insane. Grandma Stingray’s and Te Kā’s animations blow my mind every time I think about them. It’s absolutely stunning. It’s practically flawless.
Moana’s such a fucking badass! Yet she also has her moments: her hair gets caught in her face, occasionally clumsy and, just like anyone, she . But she’s inspiring all the same.
As for Maui, he starts off as a bit of a dick. But then he warms up to Moana and you learn about his backstory and shit and he’s lovable, man. You just can’t not love the guy.
And then there’s a whole bunch of side characters who are just as fleshed out as our mains. Grandma Tala, self described “village crazy lady”, is my personal fave. And Heihei the rooster has a special place in my heart. In a more realistic world, perhaps, he’d be my Patronus.
THERE IS NO LOVE STORY TO BE HAD!
DISNEY TAKING THE PISS OUT OF THEMSELVES
There were only a couple instances of this, but I’ll mention one. Can’t really remember what the exact words were, but basically Moana’s staring into the distance. She opens her mouth to speak.
And Maui goes, “If you’re going to sing, I’m going to [I can’t remember what he said—I want to say “throw you off” but he does that to her so many times already by that point—but it’s not a good thing].”
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA!! I got so many Hamilton vibes and it’s even clearer in the outtakes when you hear Lin sing all the unused tracks. Kudos to Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i (and many others) as well for the awesome instrumental background music and for providing the music’s Polynesian authenticity respectively. All the songs are super catchy and memorable.
Also David Bowie crab was fab.
A MAD MAX REFERENCE
Go see the movie if you want context. I will say this, though: even the background music for this is incredibly reminiscent of Mad Max. It was amazing!
If she does not win you over, then I don’t know what to do with you.
If you’ve made it this far into my post, then thank you for reading! I hope this review, if not the hype, has convinced you to go see Moana. Or maybe you have seen it. What did you think of it? I think it’s absolutely amazing, but you already knew that. Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,
Feliz Navidev 🎄