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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Review: Moana

***WARNING: There will be spoilers! If you haven't seen the movie and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now.***

Moana is an animated Disney film, which I'm sure everyone knows, but I thought I'd say it anyway, just in case. It came out last year and recently arrived on a streaming service, which is where I watched it. I kind of wish I'd seen it on a big screen in the movie theater, but on the other hand, much better to be at home and comfortable.

Back a long, long time ago, the demi-god Maui, stole the heart of Te Fiti. Because of that, there's a curse that is spreading across the Pacific, causing fish to disappear and turning food like coconuts inedible. The only way to stop it is to return the heart.

From the time she was a toddler, our heroine, Moana, has felt the call of the ocean and her parents, particularly her father, have spent a lot of time pulling her away from the water, fearful of her safety. But the sea isn't dangerous to the chief's daughter. In fact, the ocean has chosen Moana to return be the one to take Te Fiti's heart to Maui and make him return it.

And when the curse reaches her island, Moana feels she has no choice. With the seafaring boats brought when her ancestors first arrived here, she sets off in the smaller one, determined to find Maui and save her home.

OMG, I loved this movie! I think it's my new favorite Disney picture, unseating Beauty and the Beast, which was my previous favorite. Moana, both the film and the title character, kicked butt!

Maui has zero interest in following Moana's plan, but she's strong enough to convince him despite his best attempts to get rid of her. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, BTW, was thoroughly charming in his part as the egotistical Maui and Auli'i Cravalho did a fabulous job in the title role.

This is where I issue my final spoiler warning. I'm going to reveal the ending.

Of all the delightful parts of this film, my very most favorite comes near the end. Moana and Maui need to get past the lava monster to reach Te Fiti's island. Our heroine is determined and she makes it! Yea! Only to discover Te Fiti is gone. She figures it out, though. The lava monster is Te Fiti without her heart, and Moana, kick butt as all get out, gives Te Fiti back her heart. Te Fiti returns to her normal, gentle, nature self and the curse is lifted.

Moana is a charming, fun, sweet movie with enough great action to keep it interesting. Throughout the course of the film, our heroine learns and grows, becoming the strong woman she was always destined to be.

Final verdict: Highly recommended.