The animated Disney adventure film “Moana” came out around Thanksgiving, and is still out in select theatres. While many Disney princess films of the past have been adapted from the fairy tales and folktales of the likes of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brother’s Grimm, this one moves away from these sources. One of the film’s most memorable lines by Maui is as follows: “If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.”
The film is appealing on many fronts, as it draws from Polynesian legend. Every place and culture has its stories, and it seems the legend involving the shapeshifting demigod Maui, has a profound effect on the film’s young and determined heroine, Moana (spiritedly voiced by Auli’i Cravalho), early on. She is instantly drawn to the ocean, but that is the one place she is forbidden, due to its dangers. But it seems, for as young as she can remember, the ocean has always been her friend. And it is no different when she is coming of age and thrust on a perilous journey to set out to find the haughty animated-tatooed Maui, (voiced convincingly by Dwayne Johnson) and save her island and its people. In the process these two characters develop an unlikely chemistry, as Maui mentors Moana on the ways of wayfaring, and Moana steadily breathes new life into Maui. The original music with such songs as the timeless “How Far I’ll Go” help set the pace for this movie and rival those of other successful Disney movies. The scenery is visually-pleasing with its vivid colors, picturesque landscapes and a keen eye for detail. I highly recommend this animated adventure movie as a great family movie, as it appeals to people of all ages.