Monday, December 30, 2019

"Moana" (2016) -- Initial Thoughts

Yes, I've finally seen this!  Squeezed in one last new-to-me movie before the end of the year :-)

Overall, I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it.  I might have loved it if we hadn't had twenty minutes of nonsense in the middle of it -- that crab did not need a song-and-dance routine, and those coconut critters were pointless.  But the middle and the end were good.

And Dwayne Johnson was hilarious.  Even with just his voice present, he was still the best part of this movie.  Like he is with every movie.  In fact, of the 11 things I've seen him in, the only one he wasn't the best part of was The Mummy Returns (2001), and that was his first movie, so let's all cut him some slack on that one. 

Know what else I really dug about this movie?  That Moana was strong-willed, but not rebellious.  I mean, you could boil this movie down to "royal daughter disobeys father to follow dream," and it would sound just like The Little Mermaid (1989), which I hate.  Because Ariel is a foolish, rebellious child, and everyone acts like she's a great heroine.  No, she's not.  So yeah, that's a hard thing to portray, being strong-willed without being rebellious and defiant.  I think the difference is, Moana isn't selfish.  She's not following her dream because doggone it, that's what SHE wants!  And she needs to get what she wants!  Nope, she disobeys her parents in order to save her people.  Also, you know, she's an adult and a leader, and she's doing what leaders are supposed to do: make hard choices and lead by example. 

Anyway.  Yeah.  I wouldn't mind watching this with my kids sometime, and a second or third viewing might bump it up in my estimation.  Especially if I can fast-forward through a couple chunks of the middle.

10 comments:

  1. Pretty much agree with you on everything. The coconut creatures sequence bores me, even though I do like seeing Moana's resourcefulness. And the crab song annoys me.

    Dwayne Johnson is soooo good in this - he definitely needs to do more voice acting!

    And YES to your comments about Moana herself. I love her, for all the reasons you mentioned. <3

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    1. Eva, yeah, that segment was good to show that she's learning and good at adapting, but really not needed. A nice montage would have been fine.

      I kinda want to watch this with my kids, seen what they think of it :-) I think my middle child would like Moana herself a lot.

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  2. Everything that you said about Moana vs. Ariel is so true!!! The Little Mermaid drives me crazy because of exactly that. While I don't really like this movie either, I love Moana! Such a good character to look up to!!!

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    1. MC, I'm glad you agree. And yes, Moana herself is better than her movie deserves, heh.

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  3. This is my mom's favorite Disney film (along with Zootopia). I like it too. But yeah, the giant crab didn't need a song, and overall I wasn't terribly keen on the score (Lin Manuel Miranda is extremely talented, but I don't LOVE any of his musical contributions -- they just aren't to my taste). Still, Moana is a great heroine. I love her. And it's nice they finally have a Hawaiian princess. Two of my nieces are Tongan, and it's nice that they have "representation." :)

    Ariel is one of my least-favorite princesses, along with Jasmine from the original Aladdin -- both are rebellious just for the heck of it, and Ariel is a moron on top of it. Gorgeous music. Gorgeous movie. But she's a fool. :P

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    1. Charity, intriguing! How cool your mom still watches Disney movies. My mom only does if my kids want to show one to her. Sigh.

      But yes, Moana herself is really cool -- I wish her story had lived up to her potential, lol.

      Jasmine doesn't bug me as much, but she does have some of that going on, you're right.

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    2. She loves animated films. In fact, we watched The Aristocats for kicks on Christmas on Disney+. LOL

      Jasmine is very much a "you're not the boss of me :P" character, but at least she's not QUITE as rebellious as Ariel, whose shenanigans endanger the entire sea world.

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    3. Charity, that's awesome! I love animated movies too. (Well, I just plain love movies.) I got Disney+ for Christmas, and I'm so excited to catch up on stuff I've missed out on over the years! Like Moana.

      Yes, and see... I'm very much a "you're not the boss of me!" person myself, so I think I was not annoyed by that in Jasmine. She's fed up and sees no other way out of a situation she can't tolerate, besides running away. I feel that. She's not trying to change the world, she's just trying to change her own situation. In the animated one.

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  4. I loved allllllllllllllllllll the songs in this, including the crab one--but Lin Manuel Miranda's music is very much To My Taste in general so that makes sense. ;-)

    I haven't seen The Little Mermaid, so I don't really know what Ariel is like--but I did really love that Moana has a constructive goal she's working towards. Like you said, she takes a risk for the greater good, not just because SHE feels like it. Makes her a much better protagonist.

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    1. Katie, I have to admit this is really the first I've heard of Miranda's stuff. It was okay, but the only song I really liked was the light on the water one.

      Yes, exactly. A constructive goal.

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