I started watching this one and boy am I glad I did. I wanted to sing the songs and be a part of the adventure the moment I saw it. It's a beautiful piece of business with everyone giving their best to tell an inspirations story about finding your place and keeping honored traditions in your own way.
It plays like a Broadway musical and a broad buddy comedy at the same time. Great animal characters (who don't TALK). The dumb chicken is the best. He was responsible for the biggest laugh out loud moment that I know I will laugh at years from now when I have seen this movie five more times. It follows the same old Disney formula. It doesn't need to be more than that. You don't need to fix what isn't broken. I could have taken more story and no music just like Zootopia which is why I put Zootopia higher on my list of favorite movies from 2016.
Our heroine is very appealing and can hold her own with any Disney princess that has come before her. Her strength and bravery saves the day and she does it HER way. The world needs more girls like Moana.
Yeh, I know, I totally bought this corporate mythmaking because once again a lot of cooks DIDN'T spoil the soup. The film is thrilling and visually spectacular for a musical
Dwayne Johnson was born to play Maui because he is Maui. It's great to see all the personalities quirks that Johnson is able to give this character to flesh him out into one of the most memorable of all Disney heroes. He does the heroic and the comedic in perfect proportions. He has no unexpressed thoughts in his head and an ego that won't quit. The living tattoos that cover Maui's body and help tell the story are a nice touch.
Auli'i Cravalho is excellent as our title heroine. She is just a newcomer but she gives her character a three dimension depth that I totally bought into and wanted to watch her succeed. Her and Johnson have some nice onscreen chemistry, again, something hard to do in animation but it is key to Moana's success as a movie. I was invested in the story and thrilled by the whole adventure. The crab song falls flat but I enjoyed most of the other tunes.
See the movie for Sharkhead alone.
You'll know him when you see him.