Have you been as excited to see this movie as we have? Check out my Moana movie review to find out what we thought.
Thanks to Disney for inviting us to the advance screening of Moana. All opinions are 100% my own (but it’s no secret that I love a good Disney movie)!
My girls and I have been waiting for Moana to debut ever since we first heard about it. Yes, I get just as excited about new Disney princess movies as they do. Nobody does movies like Disney and if that movie involves a princess, even better! We were lucky enough to see an advance screening of Moana over the weekend and it didn’t disappoint.
Like many Disney princesses before her, Moana dreams of traveling far from home. In this case, she is drawn to the sea and wants to find adventure as a master wayfinder. Her father forbids it because it’s unsafe but of course we all know how that goes. She leaves anyway and comes across a demi-god named Maui. The islands are in danger and and Moana and Maui (after some convincing) are on a mission to save them. Along the way they run across many obstacles, including some super cute coconut pirates who turn out to be not so cute after all.
The filmmakers searched the Pacific Islands, interviewing hundreds of girls to find one that captured Moana’s spirit. Auli‘i Cravalho didn’t even try out for the role at first but the film makers discovered a tape of her singing in a talent show. They immediately asked her to try out and three auditions later, she was the new Moana. Auli’i brings just the right mix of sweetness and independence to the role. Of course, having a beautiful singing voice doesn’t hurt either.
Maui is a demi-god, half man-half mortal, played to perfection by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’s reluctant to join Moana at first bit soon realizes that he doesn’t have a choice. Cocky and sympathetic at the same time, he relies on his Mini Maui tattoo to be the voice of reason, though he doesn’t always listen. Fair warning…your kids are probably going to want to see his fish hook under the Christmas tree.
Hei-Hei the chicken provides the comic relief and you could tell by the roars of laughter that the kids absolutely loved him. My little Keira was no exception. We went to World of Disney the next day and I told Keira she could pick out a toy. Out of all the toys in World of Disney, and that place is huge, she wanted her very own Hei-Hei (though she has since renamed him Chicky).
I love a great Disney story but what really sticks with me and my girls are the songs. If we’re still humming the songs after the movie, it’s a success and I haven’t been able to get the song “You’re Welcome” out of my mind since the movie ended. Not only is it catchy but who knew that The Rock could sing?! While that’s my favorite, I loved every single song on the soundtrack. I thought it would be hard to top the previous princess soundtracks but this one exceeded my expectations. It’s our new go-to music whenever we get in the car and my girls already know more of the words than I do!
While the characters and soundtrack already make this a great movie, the setting makes it spectacular. The animators filled the islands with gorgeous, lush greenery and created oceans of the bluest blue. I’ve never actually been to the South Pacific (though it’s definitely on my bucket list) but they’ve created a backdrop even more beautiful than I’ve imagined it to be. You really do have to see the movie for yourself to understand what I’m talking about.
Here’s a little sneak peek:
- All the characters in “Moana” wear outfits made from materials that would have been around 2,000 years ago.
- Since Moana spends time underwater, filmmakers had to refine technology to create a wet look for Moana’s curly hair. They brought in volunteers with similar hairstyles to get dunked so they could capture the look.
- Heihei the chicken was originally smart and sassy but filmmakers didn’t feel like that was original enough. Some wanted to eliminate him from the movie altogether but a group of story team members came up with the idea to just lower his IQ. The idea got so many laughs when it was pitched that Heihei got to stay.
- Maui’s hook is inspired by an actual constellation
- Mini Maui, the tatoo that acts as Maui’s conscience, was hand drawn by Disney animators.
- Moana’s lyricist/composter Lin Manuel Miranda is also credited for the Tony award winning “Hamilton”
- With longtime collaborator John Musker, director Ron Clements also wrote and directed the iconic films “The Little Mermaid”, “Alladin” and “The Princess And The Frog”.
Moana was the best movie we’ve seen in awhile and I think your kids will love it as much as mine did. In fact, we already have plans to see it again!
After you see Moana, feel free to download these fun printables to go along with it.
How excited are your kids about seeing this movie? If you’ve already seen it, what did you think?
Throwing a Moana birthday party? Check out these posts…