I often often say I live in California but my heart is in Hawaii. I lived in Hawaii (The Big Island and Oahu) for two and a half years. I've been back in California for almost two years (sigh) and there is not a day that goes by when I don't wish to go back. Except maybe the day my son was born.
Needless to say, I was really looking forward to seeing Disney's Moana. When I had the opportunity to see a screening of the movie prior to it's upcoming release on November 22, I jumped at it. I drove over an hour away, by myself to see it (don't worry, I'm not that lame, my sister met me there).
So, was it worth it? 100%!! I smiled almost throughout the entire movie. (I say almost because there were a few moments that moved me to tears.)
(Though I received complimentary tickets to this screening, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure for more information.)
Here's what I loved about Moana:
This soundtrack had me completely nostalgic for Hawaii. The music had a definite Polynesian vibe that made me feel like I was back in Hawaii walking in the mall on any given Saturday (there's always some type of performance going on!). Also, Auli'i Cravalho's voice is simply amazing. And a very pleasant surprise... Dewayne "The Rock" Johnson's musical number.
I know, I know, it's Disney, of course their animation was on point. But this was beyond on point, in my opinion. I couldn't believe how life-like the scenery (and the characters' hair!) was. It was breathtaking.
There were some pretty funny characters and lines in the movie, that both adults and children can appreciate. I especially liked the chicken.
I have a deep appreciation for Hawaiian culture and I was very happy to see it displayed on the big screen. I particularly loved the inclusion of hula and storytelling. That being said, there is a strong spiritual mythology aspect to Hawaiian (and Polynesian) culture which includes stories of gods and goddesses. The story of Moana is very representative of the types of stories that make up Hawaiian mythology. In my opinion, Disney did an incredible job crafting something that represents the culture so well. I know that some parents may have reservations about this. Ultimately, that is your call as a parent. Personally, I will allow my son to watch this movie when he is old enough. Overall, I feel like this aspect of the movie is no different than something he would see in a video at any given tourist site in Hawaii. (Only with amazing music and animation!)
Not only will I allow my son to see Moana but the message is something that I absolutely want him to know. Be who you are. Whatever the cost. Moana was fierce and determined to accomplish what she believed was her destiny. I believe there is also a message for parents to allow our kids to walk their own path even if it scares us. And also, the message for me personally... the ocean is calling!
In conclusion, I cannot say enough how amazing this movie is! I think it is a must see that family members of all ages can enjoy. There are, however, some intense scenes that can be scary for younger children or children that are prone to getting scared.
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