A Beginner’s Guide To Moana

Everything you need to know before Moana comes out tomorrow.

What is it?
Moana is the latest animated Disney feature film and more specifically it is their latest Disney princess film.

So, like Sleeping Beauty?
Technically the same family but it’s more Tangled than Sleeping Beauty. Disney has been really good at updating their princess narratives so that women aren’t just waiting to be saved by a man and then married off. Just look at Brave: the Disney princess series has become about empowerment.

Female empowerment sounds great and all but… are there still songs?
Totally. In fact, the music in this movie has been getting more attention than is normal for an animated feature because one of the composer’s happens to be Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda.

What’s the film about?
The official synopsis is as follows:

The film tells the story of Moana, the strong-willed daughter of the chief of a Polynesian tribe, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with a goddess. When a blight strikes her island, Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod, in hopes to save her people.

This movie has gods?
You’d think it would have been a controversial topic but everybody seems really calm about it – I’m assuming because it’s all been handled respectfully and sensitively but that’s not even the best part. The demigod, Maui? Voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Nice. Who else is in it?
Moana herself is voiced by newcomer, and Hawaiian native, Auli’i Cravalho. Other cast members include  Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzingerand Alan Tudyk.

Is it any good?
According to the critics, and the people that have watched it, and my instincts about this film. Yup. It actually seems amazing. People are saying that it marks a new, better, course for Disney.

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