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Moana Review

The Movie "Moana" depicted a brave princess from Hawaii chosen to save the island together with demigod Maui. I was surprised on how Disney approached Moana as a very strong girl, very mature for her age and courageous enough to choose her destiny. Moana is more of a warrior girl, a voyager just like Mulan. She reminded me a lot of pro women of Hawaii and their tenacity in pursuing the dream of conquering either waves, fire or life challenges.

The animation was beautifully drawn, creating this magical world of Moana. Even her village or the boats discovered in the cave reminded me of the exhibits in the Polynesian cultural center from Oahu. The storyline was very beautifully written arounds gods and traditions. Every Maori symbol has a story behind it. The hook in particular stands for wealth and luck, the best you can achieve in life. No wonder the demigod was so attached to its hook and felt helpless without its power. Maybe the weight of the hook should have been used for character development purposes. I would have expected from Maui to rely more on himself and lose the hook for a necklace with a hook, which would have meant transitioning from war to harmony. Hawaiians love simplicity and believe in deity within themselves. They carry the spirit of the island and of the gods inside and that message should have come across.

I love that every Disney animation shows the importance of roots and ancestry. The ancestors challenge us to become better versions of themselves and give us a cultural identity or footprint. Usually the carrier of traditions is the grandmother who seems to be the the wisest and most open person in the family. She has plenty of knowledge to teach her niece that only by breaking the village rules you can dare to be more. That's how all those ancestors evolved throughout time and made those great things happen.

The soundtracks of Moana and the performances are very beautiful. However they seem to be inconsistent. Hawaiian songs or tribal songs are the best fit for the movie. But a funk performance of the demigod Maui would definitely leave the viewers confused. Words like "Aloha" or "Mahalo" would definitely be more expected than just "Welcome". Also Moana's songs didn't seem to be catchy or memorable or performed with a Hawaiian mele, a unique type of island singing. However the story seem to be to be compelling enough that these details could easily go overlooked.

I enjoyed very much the movie and would recommend it. Since my song " Aloha" seem to be so appropriate and fit for the movie I invite you all to listen to it either on my website or within the trailer of Moana: You can purchase it directly from my music page or from iTunes (Aloha Lucy Monciel). Thank you all and Happy Thanksgiving!

#moanareview #disney

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