Moana sails into our hearts (and theatres) now!


Disney’s Moana arrived in theatres today (November 23), but my daughters and I were lucky enough to see an advanced screening a couple of days ago. My daughters were really looking forward to seeing it based on the commercials that we had seen, but I was nervous because I didn’t know a lot about it and my daughters have a history of being excited about movies and then freaking out when we watch it in the theatre. I am so happy to say that all three of us loved Moana! I’ll talk more about it later, but first here is a little synopsis for you:

Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”) and produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), “Moana” sails into theatres on Nov. 23, 2016.

First of all, Moana is my new favourite Disney heroine. She is smart, brave and has a lot of heart! Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is perfect as the demigod Maui who is trying to regain his former glory, with just enough mischief to keep things interesting. I loved how Moana didn’t need a prince, or demigod, to save her or her people. It’s something that I am particularly sensitive to as a mother of young daughters. I also appreciated that Moana wasn’t bratty, even when she was going against her father’s wishes. It was lovely to see a movie in 3D that didn’t terrify my children; there were lots of suspenseful scenes and there is a lava monster but the scenes are not prolonged and for once we had no tears or asking to go home. Plus, the payoff is so worth it!

The songs were a big hit for all of us and they have a different feel than previous Disney movies, likely due to the genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame. My 5 year old loved “You’re Welcome” (Maui’s big song), while my 7 year old has been singing “How Far I’ll Go” (Moana’s theme song, if you will) since Monday night. Alessia Cara’s version is amazing! “Shiny” was an unexpected gem that I look forward to hearing again now that the soundtrack is available. My daughters have already asked if we can buy “Moana” when it comes out on DVD in a few months so I think it’s safe to say that they give it 2 big thumbs up!

Hear more from Walt Disney Studios Canada by following @DisneyStudiosCA on Twitter or Walt Disney Studios Canada on Facebook. Follow the hashtags  and let everyone know what you think of “Moana” when you see it!

Disclosure: My family attended an early screening of “Moana” to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are always my own!

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