by A. West
‘Moana doesn’t have a love interest – she’s too busy pursuing her quest without the unnecessary love interest helping her and/or saving her.’
Director: Ron Clements and John Musker
Voice Cast: Auli’I Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Sherzinger and Alan Tudyk
Plot: Moana, daughter of chief Tui, embarks on a journey to return the heart of goddess Te Fitti from Maui, a demigod, after the plants and the fish on her island start dying due to a blight.
The film itself is brilliant as it pays tribute to Polynesian culture including the significance of the tattoos in which can be seen on all of the characters bodies, and the way in which the tattoos are done. Disney even used a Polynesian tattoo specialist to check all of the designs to ensure authenticity. According to The New York Times, “The Samoan tattoo artist Su’a Peter Sulu’ape, a sixth-generation master tattooist, checked every mark and pattern; fishermen in Fiji helped with the film’s boats and ropes. ‘We would not lock a design until we had someone’s eyes on it.’ So this film was a groundbreaking moment in which it showed kids the true meaning behind these tattoos, rather than shielding them from the body art.
It also was one of the first Disney films in which they showed Polynesian culture so this was a breakthrough moment for the Polynesian people as they finally had representation of a princess in the Disney world that could be enjoyed and praised. But this film also hints at the fact that a woman doesn’t need a man to be strong and this brings hope to the young girls whose sole goal is not simply trying to impress boys. This is shown through the fact that, throughout the movie, Moana doesn’t have a love interest – she’s too busy pursuing her quest without the unnecessary love interest helping her and/or saving her. The characters in the movie are excellent from the performance of Dwayne Johnson to the animation of the chicken Hei Hei. The chicken was essentially the most comedic character and the portrayal of this not so bright chicken who misses his food makes for easy laughs. The performance of Dwayne Johnson when he is trying to fatten up the chicken makes the scene ten times funnier as we can hear the perfect tone in his voice, which just heightens the humour.
Moana is currently available on Disney Plus and Sky. It was rated PG by the BBFC.