Set against the gorgeous backdrop of the Pacific islands, ‘Moana’ is a great animation from Disney featuring great songs, likeable characters and an intriguing plot. The bright, vibrant colours pop and the animation is very well done from start to finish. A few plot issues aside, Moana is arguably one of the strongest animations to come out of 2016.
The story follows Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), a spirited teenager who dreams of setting sail across the ocean and exploring the world, much to the displeasure of her Father. However, when a mysterious darkness begins to kill everything on the island, Moana’s dream comes true as her Father begrudgingly allows her to leave. She sets sail in search of Demi-God Maui (Dwayne Johnson) to help stop the darkness that threatens to destroy life on the islands.
It wouldn’t be Disney without songs to accompany the story and thankfully, there are plenty here to like. Whether it be the brilliant vocal talents on display in ‘How Far I’ll go’ or the catchy ‘You’re Welcome’, the songs are well done and are sure to please children and adults alike. Accompanying the music is a great playful comedy woven throughout the script and that oozes over to the music too.
Despite Moana getting a lot right, there are a few minor issues with it. There’s an entire scene featuring a pirate ship that feels completely unnecessary to the overall plot and after watching this film several times, it does stand out. I can’t help but feel the film would have a better flow to it had it been removed completely.
Aside from that minor point, Moana is a great Disney film. The colours are bright and vibrant, the animation is excellent throughout, with camera angles that really show off the fantastic lighting in each scene, and the songs are well sung and catchy. There’s enough similarities here to make it feel like a Disney film but enough differences that Moana can stand confidently on its own.