Moana

Jays Rating:
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Disney introduces its thirteenth princess with the animated family film, Moana. The setting is an island in the South Pacific and begins with a story being told by Grandma Tala (voice by Rachel House) who is the mother of Chief Tui (voiced by Temuera Morrison). She begins by explaining that hundreds of years before a tattooed demi-god named Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) steals and then loses the “heart” of Mother Island to the bottom of the sea. (To be honest, Grandma’s story seemed a bit scary for kids.) The fish are disappearing in the lagoon and the coconuts are rotting on the trees, so Chief Tui’s daughter, Moana (voice by Auli’I Cravalho) volunteers to go to sea to look for Maui and the gem. Moana sets out in a canoe along with her pet rooster Heihei (voiced by Alan Tudyk) and when she reaches the island, Maui tricks her and steals the boat. After a lot of arguing, the two begin the voyage to return the gem to Mother Island and they have a run of bad luck that causes Maui to give up. (Did I forget to mention that Maui can change into a bird or sea creature? Right.) Moana does manage to get back to the island by herself and thanks to the magic that is Disney; everything is okay. Yes, this is a Disney film, so you expect everybody to live happily ever after. I must give credit to writer and director, Ron Clements for telling a simple story with colorful characters and a fantastic soundtrack. (I know what parents will be listening to for the next year.) Clements’ most notable accomplishment is the hiring of Auli’I Cravalho, a fourteen-year-old girl from Hawaii who has a fantastic voice. Yes, this is a musical, and she sings several of the songs along with the other actresses and actors including Dwayne Johnson. Initially known for his wrestling talent and later for his skills as an action star, the Rock can now add singer to his resume. I was tapping my feet till the middle of the film, and I was all worn out. Not too shabby for a middle-aged guy – okay, an old guy according to my wife – and I fell asleep for a minute. This is one of the best-animated films this year, and I’m giving it a B rating.

This movie has been given a PG rating by the MPAA

Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals. I rely more on a good story line than special effects.