Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.
Featuring the voice talents of Auli’I Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, and Alan Tudyk.
Moana arrives on Blu-ray, as well as on DVD (there’s a code for a digital copy too). It’s an enjoyable movie, and the bonus features make this is a worthwhile purchase for fans.
While it might be easy to dismiss a movie like Disney’s Moana as just another tired adventure story featuring a young girl going against what her society has taught her, it’s still a story with heart, one that pays homage to the culture it displays without being patronizing.
Moana’s eponymous heroine was chosen as a little girl to possess an ancient stone that was a powerful symbol for her people many years ago. It was lost to the sea and she desires to venture off her people’s island to find it, but her father, unsurprisingly, won’t let her go. Her grandmother, however, feeds her dreams and gives her the encouragement she needs to defy her father.
Moana meets the demigod Maui, who accompanies her on her adventure and teachers her the seamanship she needs to survive the treacherous ocean waters. Many Pacific islanders traveled from place to place on ships they built themselves, so this part of the story is a nice nod to some real history. The story has a paint-by-numbers feel to it, but it’s still an enjoyable ride for kids and their parents.
The package I received has a code for a digital copy of the movie, along with a Blu-ray disc and a DVD. The bonus features lead off with Inner Workings, the theatrical short that accompanied the film (so glad Pixar brought those back and Disney has gotten the bug too), along with another short that features Maui. There’s also a commentary track with directors John Musker and Ron Clements.
Moving along, we have 25 minutes of deleted scenes, with optional introductions, as well as a deleted song by Lin-Manuel Miranda (my daughter, a major Hamilton fan, was thrilled by his involvement, even though she’s a jaded teenager). There are also two versions of the movie’s main song, “How Far I’ll Go,” one a music video and one a version performed in multiple languages. And if you’d like a discussion of the film’s music, you’ll find a 12.5-minute featurette about that too.
A group of documentary pieces wrap up the bonus features:
- Voice of the Islands (31 minutes) has an educational bent to its examination of the filmmakers’ trip to the Pacific Islands to gather research and inspiration for the movie.
- Things You Didn’t Know About… (4 minutes) is a quick Q&A with the directors, two main voice actors, and musicians covering things like favorite foods and favorite Disney theme park ride.
- Island Fashion (5 minutes) covers the characters’ costumes.
- The Elements Of… (14 minutes) talks about the technical challenges involved in creating some of the movie’s more complex characters and how the filmmakers made water and hair look more realistic than it has in any CGI animated film to date.
If you’re into finding Easter eggs, which have become a popular pastime with today’s Disney movies, there’s a three-minute piece covering that too.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★