This week’s rental was Moana, an animated box office hit from Disney, that we missed on its cinema release.
Set in Polynesia, an island has been cursed following the theft of a stone by the demigod Maui (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) that is the mystical heart of the island goddess Te Fiti!
The curse has now reached an alarming situation, as the village crops are dying and the fishermen are unable to catch anything. The village chief, Tui (Temuera Morrison) refuses to let the fishermen go out further, in order to protect their lives from the cuse aroudn the island, but things are getting desperate.
Tui and his wife, Sina (Nicole Scherzinger) adventurous daughter, Moana (Auli’l Cravalho) believes she has been summoned by the ocean to retrieve the stone and return it.
Moana is different to most, full of ambition, in fact, other than her parents, and her grandmother Tala (Rachel House), her only friends seem to be a very cute pig called Pua and a crazy rooster called HeiHei, voiced by Alan Tudyk.
Tala, sensing her granddaughter’s disappointment, shows her a secret cave of all the boats that were kept the last time Tui tried to sail further than the curse allowed.
Moana heads off into the pacific alone, except we soon learn HeiHei has stowed onboard with her, to face a battle to retrieve the stone.
Soon the waters destroy her boat, leaving her washed ashore on an island, which we learn is the home of Maui.
Maui sees Moana as a chance to leave the island, by repairing her boat and going on a quest of his own to find his magical fishhook, which allows him to shapeshift into various creatures (we especially like the one he names Shark Head, being big shark fans =)
Maui soon learns he can not get rid of Moana, and after a battle with some incredibly cute coconut shaped pirates called Kakamora, he agrees that if he can get his hook he will help her return the stone.
They find the fishhook is the treasure of a huge sea crab called Tamatoa (Jemaine Clement) and after tricking him to retrieve it, head off to take the stone to Te Ka, a huge lava demon in the desperate hope Moana can save her village.
Can she save the day? We suggest you check out this film if you want answers (But you could probably make a good guess =)
The animation is incredible and we liked Moana, but a lot of the film’s highlights are reduced to throw away scenes, we loved the coconut pirates but their screen time is less than 10 minutes (Are Disney trying to make their version of Minions from them?)
We would love to have seen more of the cute pig on the journey to but our biggest fault is this just felt like it had one too many songs, it seemed to stop nearly every 5 minutes for a new one, not that the songs were terrible, but we felt it broke the flow of the adventure (Although we loved Clement’s number, very reminiscent of his Flight of the Conchords work)
A real highlight however is the short film Inner Workings that goes along with it, about how we should take a break from the day to day goings on.
Moana is an enjoyable film, but we didn’t think it was Disney’s finest, but it is still a great watch, thanks to its wonderful animation and great characters.
You can watch the trailer and many fun activities about the film at the Disney website here:
You can buy the film at Amazon here:
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