I am seriously late to this particular party. The movie was released in 2016, and I didn’t watch till yesterday. There was no reason as such, because I do know that it got rave reviews. But there was one thing that put me off slightly, even though it had nothing to do with the movie as such.
I happen to be Facebook friends with the guy who did the Hindi dialogues for the Hindi version of this movie. And while he is not precisely someone to dislike, he is rather full of his own self-importance. The aggressive self-promotion [which I am chronically incapable of doing!] becomes a barrier for me to overcome, and in this case I just didn’t. Same reason I didn’t want the new Jungle Book forever. So mature of me, I know.
Story: The story opens with the legend of Te Fiti creating the world. The story goes on to show the demigod Maui stealing Te Fiti’s heart, as it is said to have the power to create life. His theft causes Te Fiti to crumble, and he soon is faced by Te Kaa, a fiery lava demon. In the fight, he loses his magical fish hook and the heart to the ocean depths.
Centuries later, toddler Moana is listening to her grandmother tell this tale. Soon after, she runs onto the beach and the ocean gives her the heart. She loses it soon after though, when her father comes to carry her back.
As she grows up, Moana is shown to be drawn to the ocean, and her father constantly pulls her back. It is a tussle which she initially succumbs to, but overcomes when she feels her island is dying. She then sets off on a quest to find Maui, his fish hook, and for him to restore what he stole to the goddess Te Fiti.
Review: The movie is magical. The story is not any different from an ordinary hero quest, but interestingly has a female protagonist. It is very coming-of-age in the true Disney style, and Moana finds herself in the bargain.
Story: Doesn’t break with any traditions, and predictably follows the classic three-act structure. No surprises, but that’s really all right.
Characters: Lovable characters all around. Even the villains are adorable! Coconut pirates? *squee*
What I liked: Sigh. Everything! The movie was uplifting and happy. It was lovely to see female protagonists, and persons of colour as major characters. I love that Moana finds herself on her own steam, and is not a damsel in distress. And the music was better than Frozen’s. [Don’t kill me please.]
What I disliked: Absolutely nothing.