Movie of the Week 2: Moana

“I know everybody on this island, I live on a deserted island, I need to save my island …”

Are those not the words? Oh.

Welcome to another posting from MHH and my second batch of “Movie of this Week!” Up this week is Disney’s MoanaI know what you’re thinking — why would I feature this on my blog? This isn’t a new movie. But it’s new to me, was free on Netflix, and this is my blog so I can feature whatever I want. Honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t seen it sooner because I’m a pretty big Disney fan and Frozen is my jam.

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Not that this movie is Frozen. 

Moana, in fact, tells the story of a Polynesian tribe (much different setting). I really screwed myself when I watched this because I wasn’t fully paying attention to the beginning which explains the tale of what curses their island. Later I learn some guy Maui stole some stone from some god or goddess and now the island is cursed (or something like that, again, wasn’t really paying attention).

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So cut to this tiny child who walks into the ocean and the ocean gives her a shell and is parting like freaking Moses and the Red Sea, allowing the little darling to walk right out into the water. Ohhhh, that’s Moana, and she’s not allowed to go in the water…

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Isn’t the famous song all about how “the water calls me” or something, but her parents don’t even let her get into the water?

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Come to find out Moana’s dad is the chief of the island and she’s to rule next, but wouldn’t you know, she’d rather be out on the water? Skip ahead to the island being cursed or something and they all run out of coconuts and fish and there’s no Hyvee around to help. (I guess this has something to do with the beginning of the movie I missed …?). Because of this, Moana is finally going to get into the water and sail for help with the assistance of one bad ass grandma (and some cool ancestors too I come to learn).

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Can I just pause a second and say how b-e-a-u-tiful this movie is to watch? The ocean is the purest blue color on screen aside from probably seeing it in person, the Polynesian people have the artistically crafted tattoos, and I don’t know who or what inspired the animator who created Moana’s hair but it’s literally perfection!

Anyway, off she goes to find Maui (that cat I mentioned from the beginning; again, something about a curse?), leaving her pig behind. Yes, she has a pet pig and he’s the cutest. She also has a pet chicken (who I think is mentally challenged and I don’t even know if that’s offensive as I type right now, but if you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about) and the chicken gets to go on the trip, but not the pig, even though the pig seems to have it somewhat together better than the chicken …?

Enter Maui, the big guy she’s supposed to find. Oh! It’s Dwayne Johnson’s character. And he’s a demigod? (yes I had to look that up). MauiHe’s the one who stole the green stone from the person from the movie’s opening scene, and he has to give it back to get Moana’s people coconuts again. Instead, he sings that famous “You’re Welcome” song I know many middle schoolers love. Maui kind of sucks though, like why is he so pompous and a jerk? However, he too has really amazing, flowing hair, and awesome tattoos! His tattoos talk to him (they’re like his little Jiminy Cricket!) and I really love them. So, he sails with her to help, and to get his hook, and to win the love of the people because that’s what truly makes him happy (because you find out his parents abandoned him when he was a baby by THROWING HIM INTO THE OCEAN, leading him to have relationship issues; Disney, what are you teaching children??)

Along the way, Moana and Maui fight some really strange clay looking coconut pirates
(I thought this part was weird; like, LSD weird -not that I’ve done LSD, but I’ve seen those Dateline specials and it sounds like those crazies would see coconut pirates). moana2.jpg
Moana & Maui also fight this giant crab, who basically just likes bling and singing jazzyish songs about being “Shiny.” This crab is my favorite character in the entire movie because he’s basically Lisa Vanderpump as an animated sea creature (& if you don’t get that reference, go watch some Bravo TV). This is another scene that is STUNNING to watch with the lights and movement of the characters (I probably could have stopped the movie right here and been done).

As I was watching Moana, I kept wondering if previous Disney movies inspired certain aspects of the plot. Take the crab for example. That entire world he lives in reminded me of Alice’s Wonderland. Then, the fact that Moana disobeys her father to explore the unknown (The Little Mermaid), Moana’s grandmother is an inspiration and part of nature (Pocahontas), and Maui’s famous line in the film, “If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.” Oh! There is even a cameo from Sven, the reindeer from Frozen!

Also along with almost every other Disney movie, the hero saves the day. In this film, Moana returns that green stone to a island (I guess the stone was the heart of the island) and then this fire demon becomes a large, grassy lady who I think inspired the floral headband trend? Moana’s island is restored (coconuts and fish FOR DAYS!) and everyone starts sailing again — no more fear of the water!

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All in all, I thought the movie was cute, but probably not my absolute favorite. I liked that Moana is a strong female character and a great inspiration for young girls. She also teaches the importance of mantras (again, if you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about…). I don’t think it would hurt any of you to go watch Moana if you haven’t yet (or rewatch if you have). Even one of my girlfriend’s husbands mentioned he enjoyed it and I really don’t see this dude catching up on his Disney animation too often.

With that, see you next time and thanks for reading! I’m sure you’re thinking, “What can I say except,maxresdefault

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