Movie Reaction: Moana

They got the island vibe right! The dances, the rituals, the coconuts, the tattoos. I was smiling at the island scenes because I see those things in real life. I’m so lucky, I know. Don’t be too jealous. I love being an island girl! I’m even thinking of growing out my hair again to really look the part.

The story, however, for lack of better word, is bland. I probably expected too much given the tweets I read about Moana last Oscars when they did not win the Original Song award. Watching the movie with kids who have already watched the movie more than a thousand times was not a good idea too. The songs were good great. I loved her song when she was summoning Te Ka/Te Fiti whose heart was stolen by Maui. I know that the movie is supposed to be a feel good movie. However, Disney usually have strong plots to make the movie feel good. I can still remember how much I cried for Brother Bear when it was revealed who killed the little bear’s mother. How relieved I felt when Anna was saved by true love, which was not from any man but from her sister’s. You get the point.

I felt like Moana was too protected. When she started her journey, her struggles seemed a little too easy for me. She was so smart, she did not do anything stupid. She went against her father’s wish to not go beyond the reef, yes, but it did not have any real consequence. She was not disowned, her father did not have a heart attack, or anything like that. He only got mad. Besides, it was not a stupid decision because her people would starve if she stays. She was not in any real danger because the ocean always, always protects her. She doesn’t even have to swim. Maui did not even feel bad against her for long.

The movie did not keep me on the edge of my seat nor did anything to my emotions and I love being turned into an emotional bowl of mush whenever I watch Disney movies. I think the conflicts were just too fast, they get resolved in just a few scenes, there’s no time to feel bad so I did not really feel the contrast of feeling good afterwards.

Still the music is great, Maui was funny, the island was beautiful, I loved the dances of the island people, like seriously, why are islanders very graceful dancers? The best part was probably when she was able to deceive Tamatoa by using bioluminescence (let me tell you, they are amazing, AMAZING in real life! You would feel like a fairy underwater with them around, everything just glows!). I’d be waiting for the next Disney animated movie.