Tonight was a low key family night. Liam and I worked on the backyard in the staggering heat and after Liam’s bubble bath and my shower, Lindsey and I decided to order some pizza and make it a movie night.
Moana has been a film on our watch list for a long time. For whatever reason, its been pushed back and pushed back. Tonight was the night. As you might imagine, I have some thoughts:
“Moana” reminded me of why I loved Disney the way I used to. When it wasn’t bringing back memories of some of my favorite works of theirs through tons of similar visual cues, gags, and designs, it was simply making me happy
I was happy I was there. I was happy I was watching this. I was happy that a movie like this can still exist in a time full of hate, disappointment, and genuine disgust. I was happy that a musical could be one without shame, or need to go along the lines of filling in the blanks with whatever people are listening too. But it can be something I can call a musical and not just a movie that features people singing from time to time.
“Moana” goes the route of having the regular amount of songs typically found in most Disney films (putting around 5 or 6 in total, though I could be wrong), but uses them as a means of expressing characters and story elements without it ever feeling like it cuts out before it reaches its peak.
Most of the songs themselves aren’t as memorable as others, but man, as much as I could complain about that, when they showed up, I could NOT stop myself from having a great time and feeling happy.
And in fact, I think that sums up the my experience with this perfectly. I know for a fact I could find plenty to complain about, like how there’s less of a focus of Moana’s family once she sets out to sea, even though it took up a good twenty or so minutes of the film, or how the third act tends to feel a bit run of the mill. But, I just don’t want to.
For as much as I could harp on those elements, I could spend an equal amount of time talking about the beautiful colors and animation “Moana” showcases from frame one. Something I noticed about the three main Disney Princess movies of the last 6 years (“Tangled”, “Frozen”, “Moana”), is that each tend to have a distinct use of specific colors.
With “Tangled,” it was Gold and Purple. With “Frozen”, it was White and Shades of Light Blue. And with “Moana”, it’s shimmering Greens and Blues. Every time there’s a shot of an island or of the ocean, your eyes are always brought back to the color and what shapes they’re taking forms of.
*Speculation time over*
I don’t know about you, but I grew up with these type of movies, these animation styles, these types of songs, characters, so on and so forth. So to see the people who made it come back to the big screen for the first time in over five years and make what could very well be a massive tribute to those, like myself, who want to experience that same amount of wonder and joy that they did as they were children.
If there seems to be a lack of technical talk about stuff like the voice acting (very good), how’s the writing (a tad cliche at points, but still engaging and rather humorous ((plenty of great gags throughout)), how’s the music (beautiful), animation (equally beautiful), the characters (incredibly likable), it’s because well…..do you really want to hear basically the same tune told through a different instrument, or would you rather read about how much something means to someone?
Moana is medicine for happy.