A few good reasons to watch the Moana movie
by Smyths Toys
Disney’s new hit film Moana has taken the world by storm! The film tells the story of Moana, the strong-willed daughter of the chief in a Polynesian tribe, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with a goddess. When a blight strikes her island, Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod, in the hope of saving her people.
Despite being Disney’s newest cinematic production to date, Moana is in fact based on a true story set over 2,000 years ago. At that time in real life history, the people of the South Pacific were the greatest explorers on Earth. Using only stars and currents, they accomplished some of the greatest feats of exploration and migration in history. Then, one day, it stopped for 1,000 years.
No one knows why.
Directors Clements and Musker thought coming up with a story to explain why the exploration stopped would be a great idea, and the idea of finding your way mirrored the journey of the young girl at the centre of their story.
Moana is set to go down as one of Disney’s biggest new movies, alongside the likes of Frozen and Finding Dory. There are loads of reasons why Moana is a great film to go and see, but one of the great things about it is that it’s enjoyable for both adults and children of any age.
The topics explored in the film and the emotional connections between the characters make this film relatable to a wide range of audiences. The movie takes a step away from traditionally American characters, or characters from made-up places. It explores other cultures in a way that is easy for children to learn about and understand, as well as keeping adults following along.
Similarly to another hit Disney film Lilo and Stitch, Moana moves away from the traditional princess story line and focuses on other characters and cultures, which is really refreshing for a Disney film. The beauty of this is that both boys and girls will enjoy the film equally, rather than young boys being put off by the princess aspect of the film.
Not only is Moana a great film that so many people can enjoy, but it’s star studded cast makes it worth a watch even if you’re not that interested in the story line. Dwayne Johnson plays the voice of legendary demigod Maui, and his demigod character doesn’t look unlike him in stature, either.
The film also introduces newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, who is only 16 years old and has made her acting breakthrough by voicing main character Moana in the hit movie. We hope to see her in a lot more films to come, because she voices Moana perfectly and brings real depth to the character, even without the amazing animation.
Nicole Scherzinger also takes a starring role in this film as her acting career takes the world by storm, in adverts, on the West End and also in movies. This is Nicole’s first attempt at voice acting on a major Disney movie, and we think she’s done an excellent job.
As well as these great starring actors, the animation in this film cannot be faulted. As Disney’s animation skills improve with time, so does the magic of their films, and this is the best animation yet. Moana is the 56th animated Disney film and you can definitely see so much difference between it and Disney classics such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. As well as the standard animation of the characters, the animators had to make a whole new level of animation on Maui’s skin, as he has tattoos that move and act for themselves all over his body, including “Mini Maui,” who became an instant stand out character in the film.
All of Maui’s tattoos are an important part of the story and character. They immortalize his exploits, as each tattoo tells a part of Maui’s backstory, with Mini Maui at the centre. Visually, this looks very cool but technically, the animators found itextremely difficult because they were animating on skin, which itself is also a moving, breathing surface.
Besides having moving tattoos, Maui has another power. He can transform into loads of different animals, including a hawk, a shark, a bug, and more, making him quite a formidable ally for Moana on her quest to solve the mystery of her people. Again, though, animating a human who seamlessly morphs into an animal was a challenge for Disney Animation, as it’s not something they usually do and became a very complicated component to the animation and the film in general.
The perfect animation adds a whole new dimension to the story, immerses you in the characters and storyline and makes you feel like you’re really there, rather than in the cinema. Especially if you watch in 3D!
Lots of effort, time and work went into the making of the film to make it not only entertaining to watch but factually accurate. The team spent a lot of time visiting the locations they were wanting to recreate in the film and they hired the local council to fact check everything they wanted to include in the film about the surrounding area and culture.
The directors said that they wanted to carry on the Disney tradition of accurately representing different cultures and traditions, so made sure that they spent plenty of time planning and fact checking before the animation and production went ahead. Believe it or not, the team have actually been making research trips to different islands in the South Pacific since 2011!
We here at Smyths Toys have a brand new range of Moana toys
and merchandise that anyone who has seen the film is sure to love, so if you need some ideas for a few last minute Christmas presents, take a little look at our range to see if you can find something a little new Moana fan will love.