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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Why Moana is one of Disney's best films

I love Moana. It's an incredible movie with a spirited, kind heroine, and breaks away from the 'fairtytale' trope to focus on adventure and finding yourself. It speaks about the environment, humanity and how we treat each other. Here's why I think it's one of Disney's best.

Moana is a wonderful protagonist. She's the perfect role model for little girls; brave, courageous, determined, witty, kind-hearted and beautiful. She is interested in life and cares for living things and her people. She goes against her parents wishes by daring to cross the ocean to restore Te Fiti's heart. We've seen great heroines like Belle and Mulan, but the film Moana is sweeter, taking the same light tone as Frozen. This makes it really appealing to young children.

The villain isn't even bad, she's just angry and upset cos her heart was stolen. Those coconut pirates are pretty freaky, but Moana laughs and goes 'coconuts!' and starts whacking them with her oar. The giant crab is funny with his songs. I'm all one for dark films, but the light tone of this movie keeps it as a feel-good film. It's the kind of movie where you want to smile the whole way through.

And for once, we have a Disney film without romance! No lovey-dovey stuff as part of the main plot. Not that romance is a bad thing at all, when done well it can be adorable to watch, but Disney films have always been saturated with 'true love' and 'happily ever after.' Real life romance takes work and compromise; it isn't all sunshine-and-roses. I know, Disney films aren't supposed to be realistic, but it is great to have a movie that focuses solely on the heroine's adventure. She probably will meet a great guy and get married to him, being the catch that she is, but that isn't the point of the story.

It's all about following her journey. There's the literal journey of taking the heart, and then there's the emotional journey. When she puts her hand against Te Fiti's face and goes 'who you truly are', it's enough to make one melt into tears. Throughout the movie Moana is trying to figure out who she is and where her family comes from. A part of Maui probably doesn't know who he is; his parents abandoned him and he was raised by the gods. He tried to please humans to fill a void, even going as far as to steal the heart for them. But Moana helped him realise that he is good enough as he is, and that he doesn't need a magical hook (though it is pretty cool).

Maui himself is a great part of the movie. Rather than a romantic partner, she has a companion/Mentor. He's very arrogant, but he's good-hearted and funny. Not to mention the whole thing was his fault - but as mentioned we know why he took the heart. It's lovely to see a movie where there's a friendship built rather than a romance, as good friendship is a wonderful part of life and isn't always highlighted in films. Obviously a romance between Maui and Moana would be a bit gross and weird, considering he's thousands of years old and she's probably sixteen or so.
Image result for moana and maui

And finally, it's an important comment on the environment and mother nature. Mother Nature (or Te Fiti) breathed life into everything, but everyone was greedy and tried to take the life force for themselves. This ended up making Mother Nature angry, so she became a scary lava monster rather than a beautiful smiling island (who looks oddly a lot like Moana...maybe they're related and that's why Moana was chosen)?

The songs are fun, the premise is enjoyable, and the leading lady is relatable. All in all, one of Disney's best me-thinks. 


I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
I've also published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: