Uh, so I didn’t post yesterday. The thing is, usually we go out to the theatre in the morning or afternoon, so even though I knew we were going at 7 PM, I thought I could definitely post after the movie!
I was wrong. Pbbt.
Anyways, time for a review of Moana, I guess! I’ll try to be spoiler-free at first, then I’ll add a cut and go into the SPOILER ZONE. (Terrifying!)
Plot: Well, the basic plot is certainly nothing new, but that can definitely be argued about pretty much everything. The way it’s executed is certainly a wild ride though!
Setting: It was really refreshing to see an animated movie set in a place that isn’t Europe or America. As far as I know they tried to make sure everything’s pretty accurate to pacific islander culture, and it seems to be that way to me! I’ve been to Hawaii thrice by now and it felt like I was actually there. Basically it has a nice amount of scenery porn for my sister to enjoy.
Animation: The animation is GORGEOUS. Everything is a nice combination of realistic and cartoony, and it was beautiful to watch. The water looked super realistic, and the way characters moved seemed super realistic. I also really enjoyed the hand-drawn animation of Maui’s tattoos – it was the first time hand-drawn animation has appeared in a Disney movie since 2011’s Winnie the Pooh! Also the characters were super diverse! They had skinny people and large people and tall people and short people, it was amazing. It’s funny how diverse bodies can be without changing the race, wonder if we’ll ever see that in all-white movies. But I digress.
Music: The music was mostly composed by Hamilton star/director/author/everything else Manuel Lin-Miranda, and it sounds gorgeous! The songs are obnoxiously catchy honestly, and the instrumentals are beautiful.
Alright, so that’s about all I can say without going into spoiler territory. Hit the “read more” or whatever below if you’ve seen the movie or you just don’t care about spoilers.
Hey, if I directly linked to this or something, spoilers are below, so uh, stop reading if you don’t want to be spoiled,
Alright that’s enough of a warning. Let’s go!
Plot: The plot is pretty basic: Person is sent on fetch quest, becomes unlikely friends as part of a “odd couple” set-up, turns out the chosen one was the one we didn’t think would be. Each of those things have been done before, of course, but it’s executed very well. The songs flow as part of the movie, everything is for a final end goal, and it doesn’t get confused with what it wants to be. While parts of it could be considered irrelevant or redundant, such as the coconut pirates, I think it all works to help establish setting. I think the bit at the end where the lava monster turned out to be the goddess (whose name I can’t remember, sorry) was a surprise and done well, and a refresher from all of these recent Disney movies where there’s the surprise twist villain – this movie doesn’t really have any big villain, just Tamatoa.
Setting: I already mentioned that it looks like an actual tropical region but holy carp is it beautiful. Of course, beneath the surface lies the Realm of Monsters, and it is gorgeous. It is otherworldly and creepy but still remains beautiful. The idea of there being another world beneath the ocean is really neat (don’t know if it’s a part of an existing mythology or not, it’s a dang shame we don’t tend to learn about anything other than Christianity in our youth), and it is beautiful. The part where everything goes into bioluminescent mode is wonderously creepy and beautiful at the same time. Basically what I’m saying is the setting is excellent.
Animation: Don’t know what else I can say about animation here! Think I covered most of it in the first part. I guess I really like the way they animate each of the different creatures? Like the lava monster and the goddess move in this slow deliberate way that makes them seem even more otherworldly. I’m going to mention again that Maui’s tattoos are hand-drawn, which again, is awesome. Guess I can say the color schemes work well for when a scene needs to be sad or when it needs to be cheerful and such.
Music: Holy crap the score is beautiful. I don’t focus too much on music honestly, but the score works in all of the right spots. The songs that are sung are again ridiculously catchy and very good. I think my one complaint is the chanting that sometimes happens? I mostly find it annoying since I don’t know what they’re saying and I want to know what they’re saying, dang it! They also did that thing that movies like to do nowadays where they put a pop version of songs from the movie in the credits. Really don’t like that, never did, so that’s a downside.
Basically if you couldn’t tell by now I highly recommend Moana, very good.
I spotted two (2) easter eggs during the film – Maui turning into Sven and Wreck-It Ralph at the end of the credits. There’s probably others but that’s what I saw.
So that’s it for today! I start school tomorrow, wish me luck. Hopefully I’ll start doing daily posts soon instead of every-other-day? We’ll see.