7 Thoughts I Had Whilst Watching Moana

I've been absolutely gagging to see Moana ever since the first teasers emerged. I don't know about you, but I've been over Frozen for ages now and was ready for something fresh and exciting and by god did this film deliver. Here's 7 thoughts I had whilst watching Disney's Moana:

The music is INCREDIBLE
My friends had been pestering me to listen to the soundtrack for weeks now, and I never really got around to it. I'm kind of glad I held off because I got to experience the songs for the first time when watching the film itself and it's absolutely outstanding. Written by Lin-Manuel of Hamilton fame, every song has the strength to stand alone and when put together creates something truly magical. It gave me those old-school Disney tingles and I haven't been able to stop listening to it since.

This is giving me major nostalgia feels
Whereas Frozen felt like a bit of a departure from the old school Disney formula, Moana felt more like an extension of it. It was giving me Mulan and Pocahontas vibes with a dash of Lilo and Stitch in the soundtrack and even a touch of Hercules. It has that wholesome family magic, a modern and progressive storyline yet still somehow maintains an underlying sense of tradition and familiarity with the legendary Disney tales we love so dearly.

Is that Jermaine Clement?!
Yh, doing his best David Bowie impression, Jermaine Clement makes an appearance as a kind of villain (sort of, more like a narrative construct/obstacle). His whole scene is a great fun break and prevents the storyline from getting too dark and serious in places. The use of ultra-violet in his scene is stunning and reminiscent of the Dr.Facilier villain song in Princess and the Frog in terms of style and Clement obviously steals the scene from the protagonists (even if I didn't have a clue what he was saying for half of it!)

I bet the concept art for this is stunning!
Obviously a tropical island is always going to look breathtaking, they're naturally beautiful places, but for me the more impressive moments of animation came in those detailed, wider scaled shots of the lush location. The depth is intense and rich and absolutely glorious to just sit back and soak up. Also. the sense of size and comparison, be it Moana's tiny boat in the vast ocean or hero vs. final boss, the use of scale to convey helplessness and impossible odds was breathtaking. Sometimes things are scary just by how big they are and Moana does an excellent job of putting this across.

Also, how could I not mention the animation of the water? I think sometimes it's easy to overlook and forget that this is all animated and my god, it's absolutely stunning. From the opening scene my mouth was agape with awe and didn't close until the credits rolled.

The Rock is awesome
When Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson was cast in a Disney film I kind of felt like maybe this could just be a cash cow and the film could well end up be his character mugging for the camera for 90 minutes. I was nervous, but after hearing his character's song for the first time I was intrigued. He plays Maui, a shape-shifting demi-god who accompanies Moana on her journey. I won't spoil anything, but initially the movie seemed to be hinting that this character would head down a 'liar revealed' storyline and I prayed that it wouldn't. Luckily there's none of that and Johnson is incredibly endearing, flawed yet empathetic and likeable. Spot on casting!

 Urgh, hope this doesn't go down the romance route...
When Moana and Maui first meet I was a little worried this was going to end up with them running happily ever after into the South Pacific sunset. Luckily there's more of Vanellope von Schweetz and Wreck-it Ralph than Cinderella and Prince Charming about these two, and their chemistry works so well because they're both flawed yet endearing. The only underlying intent is to try and prove the other wrong and we quickly grow to love their stubbornness and the way each frustrates the other so. It allows each character to embody their own story and have their own strengths and weaknesses without nullifying it with a kiss at the climax - everything they go through is for the greater good and that is incredibly refreshing.

This is better than Frozen
Although the amount of Frozen tatt still lining the shelves in all the stores for Christmas 2016 shows that blondie ain't going anywhere just yet, I'm kind of hoping that Moana's incredible soundtrack and universally relatable narrative will start the process of moving away from Arendelle sooner rather than later. The songs are just as, if not even more catchy and whereas Frozen seems to have a heavily female fanbase Moana offers something a little more neutral (not that it should be a thing, but apparently it still is so there we go.) I came out of the screening immediately wanting to watch it again whereas with Frozen and even Zootopia I haven't rewatched since. It's that good.

So yh, I absolutely adored this film. Honestly I can't think of a bad word to say about it and I'm gagging to return to the cinema for a second viewing!

Talk later xoxo,

*All images credited to: http://blog.yiningkarlli.com/


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