I’m in the camp that doesn’t mind seeing Dwayne Johnson in everything. The man is immensely entertaining, with a charm you won’t find anywhere else. So to see him in a Disney film filled me excitement rather than trepidation. My only concern was if the rest of Moana could keep up with him.
Yay! It does! Moana is a confident, beautiful, and fast paced film that upholds Disney tradition without ever being boring. Moana herself follows in the footsteps of previous Princesses by being head strong and intelligent. She knows what to do but her Dad just won’t have it! She even has an animal sidekick, a chicken that is possibly the funniest thing in the film.
The story is pretty lightweight and there are no surprises but it’s paced extremely well. The songs are strong, with Johnson proving he has the pipes to match the muscles. As a fan of Flight of the Conchords, seeing Jermaine Clement as a large crab singing in his lyrical, Bowie-esque way in a Disney film is quite something.
Between it’s clear appreciation and respect for Polynesian culture, the fact it had someone in the credits just to help with how the characters navigate the seas, some damn cute kids and The Rock’s eyebrows, Moana is another entertaining Disney film that may not tackle anything different in its story but nevertheless is a hugely fun experience.