Quick review: Moana

Last night the wife and I rented Moana. We had heard good things about it and we were in the mood for something light and fun. The main thing I knew about it was that the music was done by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Being enamored with the Hamilton soundtrack I was curious to see what this outing would be like.

The story follows a young Polynesian girl who is destined to be the chief of her tribe, but since a young age has been fascinated by the ocean. However, her people have one rule: no one leaves the island. You come to understand the reasons why her father instituted this rule, but it doesn’t change her desire, and soon the ocean (which is sentient) pulls her on an adventure to set the world right again.

Along the way she meets Maui, a demi-god who stole the heart of Te Fiti, setting in motion a slow decline of the world that will eventually reach Moana’s home island. She decides that her and Maui must make everything right, and the story takes off from there. Their relationship is completely platonic, which is really nice to see in a Disney princess movie. In many ways, Maui is just her sidekick, and is voiced hilariously by Dwayne Johnson.

I won’t go into any spoilers, but suffice it to say it’s a fun, animated romp. The story is pretty typical, but the characters are engaging enough to make you forget that you’ve seen this same plot many times before. Additionally, the music is really well done, and the big ballad of How Far I’ll Go has already made it onto the repeat cycle of my playlists. As usual, I much prefer the performance version by Auli’i Cravalho over the radio track by Alessia Cara.

If you’re looking for a nice fun movie with good acting, fun visuals, and good music, check out Moana. It’s worth the price of a rental for sure.