Making waves with Disney’s Moana

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Making waves with Disney’s Moana

Asa Herndon, Reporter

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With Polynesian culture making its mark in the entertainment industry, Disney and Pixar have joined into the popularity and have added another masterpiece to their seemingly endless list of successful movies. Their latest movie takes viewers straight to the heart of the Pacific Islands, also known as Moana. The movie has been out since Thanksgiving and has received astounding reviews with International Movie Database ranking it at an 8.2/10 and Rotten Tomatoes giving it a not-so-rotten score of 96% out of 100.

The story follows the voyage of Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) who is the island chieftain’s daughter and is set to become heir to the throne. She seeks to find the Hawaiian demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), who has stolen a precious artifact called ‘The Heart of Te Fiti.” He must return it to save the Pacific Islands from a dark force that drains the life from all that it touches.

However, in this movie, Disney used a new formula and changed three points that have been called “clichés” in their other movies.

The first thing they changed was keeping the main characters’ parents alive. In previous movies like Frozen and Big Hero 6, either the parents or someone close to the main character is killed in some kind of freak accident early in the movie, be it a shipwreck or a explosion. While Moana’s grandmother does die at the beginning, she dies only of old age, and her parents are their to welcome her back at the end of the movie.

The second modification made was the princess never finds her “prince charming.” During the entire course of the movie, not once is any matter concerning love or relationships brought up, and nobody in the story tries to claim her, not even Maui!

The third and final notion that received adjustments was the villain of the movie. Throughout the course of the film, Moana and Maui fight not one, not two, but three different villains. They are the Kakamora, pirates who are made from coconuts armed with blow darts and bone spears, Tamatoa, a giant coconut crab with a gilded shell and a Broadway style music number, and Te Kā, a giant lava monster that also sought the heart and knocked out Maui during his first attempt to steal it. In fact, Te Kā actually turns out to be Te Fiti’s incarnation without her “heart.”

With these modifications made, plus an amazing soundtrack performed by Opetaia Foa’i and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the always beautiful animation of Pixar, Moana is set to become another addition to Disney’s long list of accolades.