Maybe it’s the fantastically catching tunes. Maybe it’s the charming, memorable debut of Auli’i Cravalho. Heck, maybe it’s The Rock singing.
Whatever the true reason was, I adored “Moana”, the latest Disney creation (out last November). I saw it last night and can’t get the cuteness out of my head. That pig! That chicken! It was a delight.
The story follows usual themes, but it should. I don’t see that as a problem, because the story is but one aspect of the experience. These animated sing-songy movies are about more than the plot — they immerse you in a world of fun characters, unique worlds and great tunes. “Moana” has all of that in spades.
I also love that the story doesn’t revolve around Moana finding love or something. No — she finds herself. I like that quite a bit in retrospect. We’re not watching her chase after a guy — we’re watching her chase after life itself.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, of “Hamilton” fame, penned the hits here and it shows. “How Far I’ll Go” is a downright fantastic song, not relying on jokes (like Rock’s amusing “You’re Welcome”). You probably heard it on the radio or caught Cravalho singing it on TV — she and Miranda worked quite well together. Bravo, girl.
Rock chews every inch of scenery, relishing the chance to voice an egotistical demigod (a semi-autobiographical role, eh?). The man is pure talent and charisma. Little did I think that the wrestler I loved back in 2000 for slamming Vince McMahon through a table would be crooning in a Disney movie 16 years later, but he’s that good. (Rock ‘2020)
Rent “Moana” and prepare to love it.