Disney’s New Princess: Moana

Rachel Gitlin, Staff Writer

Want to experience a modern Disney princess movie that will live up to all your expectations? If so, Moana is the perfect movie to see over the holiday season or at the start of the new year. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, Disney’s Moana tells the story of a curious Polynesian chief who daringly sails across the Pacific in order to save her people. Along the way, Moana meets the infamous demigod Maui who ultimately must help Moana in returning the heart of Te Fiti to its rightful owner. Together they battle the coconut pirates called Kakamora, a giant coconut crab named Tamatoa, and in the end, the lava demon Te Kā. Through her journey, Moana learns that some limitations are meant to be exceeded and to have patience while discovering her destiny.

This film features the wonderful music of Opetaia Foal’i, Mark Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. In the song “How Far I’ll Go,” performed by the all talented Auli’I Cravalho, Moana shows her longing to surpass the reef and help save the people of her island. Dwayne Johnson also shows off his impressive acting and vocals in “You’re Welcome” with his high notes and humorous rapping.

Moana did an exceptional job portraying each character in a way that embodied the Polynesian culture and kept the plot entertaining for all ages. Cravalho, at only age sixteen, took on the role of the title character and did not disappoint. She showed the relatable and familiar personality of an ambitious teenage girl. Dwayne Johnson playing the role of Maui added humor to the film and showcased surprising vocals. Also adding comedy to Moana was Tamatoa’s song “Shiny” performed by Jemaine Clement.

Overall, this animation movie included talented actors, incredible vocals and music score, while presenting an accurate representation of Polynesian culture.