Calling all Disney movie lovers

Emily Gibbens, Opinion Editor

If you’re a college student who still watches children’s movies (like me), you were a fan of the recent Disney princess movies Tangled or Frozen, or you like feel-good movies that make you smile and laugh, the movie Moana would be right up your alley.

The movie was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. This movie will mark the eighth collaborative effort from the pair. Some of their other works include The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, and more recently, the Princess and the Frog.

Moana is voiced by Auli’i Cravalho, a sixteen-year-old Hawaiian girl. The only big name actors in the movie is Dwayne Johnson who voices Maui and Nicole Scherzinger who voices Moana’s mother, Sina.

I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to make an animated ocean look realistic, but they hit the nail right on the head.

— Emily Gibbens

Moana is the story of a teenage Hawaiian princess who has a love of the ocean and a need to explore it. Her father, who is the ruler of their island, believes the ocean is nothing but dangerous. He doesn’t allow any of the villagers to travel past the bay. Moana disobeys her father and ventures out to try and save her village. Along the way she meets a demi-god named Maui, and they work together overcoming many obstacles to save the island.

I thought it was great of Disney to give us a Polynesian princess. I really knew nothing about Polynesian culture, but this movie sparked an interest, and after watching it, I found reading up on the mythology that the movie was based off of.

My favorite part of the movie was the soundtrack. Many characters sang songs, but Cravalho’s voice was the star of the show. Her bright tone was perfect for the role. Johnson even had a song to himself, which I thought was amazing and hysterical. Until then, I didn’t realize “The Rock” could sing.

All of the songs were very catchy and fun. An interesting part of the soundtrack was that not all of the songs were in English. Some were in a Polynesian language called Tokelauan.

My favorite song played a few times throughout the movie and was called “How Far I’ll Go.” It was Moana singing about her passion for the ocean and following her dreams.

The animation of the movie was extremely impressive. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to make an animated ocean look realistic, but they hit the nail right on the head.

The movement of the waves, the way the sailboat was rocking, and the light glistening off of the water were done perfectly to make it look authentic. CGI was used for the animation of the entire movie with one exception. The only thing hand-drawn were the demi-god Maui’s tattoos that come to life and move about his body.

The only negative thing I have to say about this movie is that it seemed to last a little longer than it needed to. I think Moana’s journey on the ocean was drawn out a bit too long, especially when it is a children’s movie is made to be able to captivate and entertain a very young audience.

Overall, I give Moana a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It came out in theaters at the end of November, and I went to it three times, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good-old Disney story.

Emily Gibbens is the Opinion Editor for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]