By. Alice Hickson ’17
“Moana” centers around the adventures of teenager Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) and her dimwitted chicken named Heihei as they embark on a quest to save their island and restore ecological balance to the planet. During her voyage, Moana encounters the once-mighty demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), and together, they travel through dangerous oceans packed with frightening creatures and impractical odds.
Now this may sound like the classic Disney princess musical; it followed the general formula with a young woman leaving her safe and comfortable home to venture into a dangerous world and achieve her destiny, complete with catchy tunes about what she wants and how she’ll get it. However, “Moana” adds a unique charm..
The up and coming Disney princess trend of allowing heroines to travel down paths other than the one leading straight to matrimony, is shown again in “Moana” as romance is completely omitted from the film. Instead, Moana has a more playful, sibling-rivalry type relationship with Maui. It was refreshing to see Moana represented as a strong, independent women with no need for a prince.
While the plot is somewhat predictable, there is something beautiful in how Disney portrays the journey of Moana and Maui. As they traverse through a bright world of water and sunshine, there are numerous musical showstoppers that remained stuck in my head for days after watching the movie. From heart-wrenching ballads to upbeat pop songs, the score led me to experience a swirl of emotions.
Without a doubt, “Moana” is destined to become a popular Disney princess film similar to “Frozen”, as she displays independence and grace on the way to completing her destiny. A touching film with a sweet conclusion, Moana is perfect for all ages.