Moana- Movie Review

What is it about?                                                                                                                     Moana is Disney’s latest flick after Zootopia, and it’s about Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), the daughter of a chief that sets out on an adventure. She has to find Maui (Dwayne Johnson), a powerful, but arrogant demigod, and bring an ancient relic to a goddess with him to end the darkness devouring their islands. Hei Hei the Rooster (Alan Tudyk) joins them as they face many obstacles on their journey.

How is it? 8.7/10

Moana is a terrific movie. There were a ton of things to love about it, and it’s one of my favorite animated movies of 2016.

The Ups

First off, the music is great. Composed by Lin Manuel Miranda, it’s super catchy and will have you humming it long after the movie.

The characters are also really cool. Moana herself is a fun twist on the typical “Disney princess,” and she actually is about to take on the role of chief, whereas in most Disney movies, she would be destined to awaken the chief from eternal sleep, or something like that. Also, her character is faced with a choice: to stay and be chief, or to go off on a voyage to find Maui. This dilemma for her character adds development and makes the movie even better. Demigod Maui is also really awesome. His character is shown as a likable and charismatic, but arrogant and selfish demigod that brings a bunch of laughs and fun scenes. Also, not-so-bright chicken Hei Hei produces a ton of laughs being one of the more…dim-witted characters in the movie. Great voice acting is displayed all around.

This movie is really funny, and has a fun, adventurous plot. It boasts some awesome set-pieces where Moana, Maui, and even Hei-Hei show off their unique powers.

This movie looks excellent. This movie meets the high standard of animation set by previous movies and passes it. Everything from the amazing CG shots of Moana and Maui battling coconut pirates to Maui’s hand-drawn tattoos is fantastic.

Most of all, Moana has heart, which is what we’ve come to expect, and it shows this moral well. It delivers a good message for both adult viewers and kids.

The Downs

I have very few problems with this movie, and overall, is a ton of fun. However, its only down is predictability. It falls into some Disney movie tropes, and while its hero is different, it has a predictable plot. A lot of Moana’s journey has been seen before in other movies, which, while it’s not a super bad thing, just makes it feel like it’s been seen before.

Overall, Moana is an excellent, well-animated, and funny movie that has heart, rich characters, and great music, although it’s a bit predictable. 

Most Anticipated Movies for Kids of 2017

So, 2016 has ended, and now it’s 2017, which means…a whole new year of movies!

Here are my honorable mentions for my most anticipated movies of 2017:

The Fate of the Furious: This looks great, and was really hard to keep off my list. The Fate of the Furious is the sequel to Furious 7 and is about what happens when Dominic Toretto turns evil and abandons his loyal team of racers. This movie looks like a ton of fun, and they continue to up the ante with each movie getting more and more ridiculous, which by no means is a bad thing. The Fate of the Furious comes out on April 14, 2017. Check out the official trailer right here!

Despicable Me 3: The fourth entry in the smash-hit Despicable Me series, this movie looks fun. Gru is back, and now with his wife Lucy, and together, they must face a villain that’s stuck in the 80s. The movie definitely looks funny, and delivers a few laughs in the trailer. Watch the trailer right here!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: The fifth movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise follows pirate Jack Sparrow on the run from an old rival, Capitán Salazar, who sets out to kill every living pirate. The trailer is tense, and gives us a great look at the villain, who looks just the right amount of scary. Check out the teaser trailer here!

Now, on to my Top 10:

10. The LEGO Batman Movie: This spinoff to The LEGO Movie is about exactly what the title suggests: LEGO Batman. He’s back, and to protect Gotham from the Joker, he has to learn to take a sidekick and recruits Robin. All trailers for this movie have been pretty funny so far, and The LEGO Movie was incredibly witty. This movie looks equally clever, and promises both great voice acting, and lots of laughs. It comes out on February 10, 2017. Check out the latest trailer here

9. Kong: Skull Island: Kong: Skull Island is a reboot of the King Kong movies and actually looks really, really great! Both the Comic-Con trailer and the second one look awesome, and the trailers show both some really cool moments with the giant ape and some moments of humor. It’s about a group of explorers in the 70s venturing into an island where Kong is king, but their hostility angers the giant. The movie has an all-star cast including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, and John C. Reilly.  This one comes out on March 10, 2017. Enjoy the newest trailer here!

8. Split: M. Night Shamalayan’s thriller about a man named Kevin with 23 distinct personalities inside his head abducting three girls looks fantastic. All the trailers for this movie have been tense in all the right ways, and the movie looks like a spectacular thriller. Split is released on January 20, 2017. Check out the second official trailer right here!

7. War for the Planet of the Apes: The third movie in the amazing Apes trilogy, War for the Planet of the Apes is about, well, the war between the apes and humans that the previous movies have been building up to. The first one was great, and the second one was even better, so I’m pretty sure this one’s going to be great. The trailer boasts great CGI, and looks like a gritty, well-acted war movie. War for the Planet of the Apes is released on July 14, 2017. Enjoy the trailer right here!

6. Thor: Ragnarok: The third Thor movie promises something entirely new. With Jeff Goldblum playing the villain Grandmaster and Hulk there for the whole movie (yup, you read that right), and even a possible Doctor Strange cameo, this movie has all the ingredients for a hit. Comedy director Taika Waititi is behind the camera for this one and the footage from Comic-Con is hilarious. It showed what Thor was doing during Civil War and was really, really funny. Ragnarok comes out on November 3, 2017. Watch it here!

5. Wonder Woman: There’s a lot riding on this movie. It has to “fix” the DC Extended Universe, warm up it to critics, and pull of the first female-led superhero movie. But it looks like it can do that and then some. It’s about Wonder Woman during WWI, and looks excellent. The trailers give awesome action and humor as well. Wonder Woman is released on June 2, 2017. Watch the newest trailer here!

4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: The only reason this is number 4 is just because I’m more excited for 3 other movies, but, wow, this looks GOOD. Guardians 1 was exceptional, and delivered something… different, which makes it one of my favorite Marvel movies.  This movie has so many things going for it, from it’s awesome cast which now includes Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell, or its funny, action-packed trailers. This is a sci-fi superhero flick that I am absolutely sure will deliver. Guardians 2 comes out on May 5, 2017. Enjoy the teaser right here!

3. Spider-Man: Homecoming: They’re finally doing it right. Spidey was my favorite character from Civil War and is one of my favorite comic book characters. This movie finally skips the origin story and gives us something special: a John Hughes-style high school movie about both Peter and Spider-Man. Not to mention the PERFECT casting of Tom Holland, who feels like an outsider high schooler. And Iron Man’s going to be in this! They are finally going to share the screen, and I know it’s going to deliver. Homecoming is released on July 7, 2017. Watch the first trailer here!

2. Justice League: So, the first official trailer for this dropped at Comic-Con, and I may or may not have seen that trailer 89 times. This movie brings us the iconic DC team to the big screen for the first time, and it’s going to be awesome. In the wake of Superman’s death, Bruce Wayne recruits a team of metahumans, including The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg, to stop a mysterious supervillain. The movie looks amazing and the trailer is riddled with fresh humor, and some cool group shots. This comes out on November 17, 2017. Enjoy it right here!

1. Star Wars: Episode VIII: It’s Star Wars! Episode VIII is the sequel to Force Awakens, and has a few questions to answer from the last movie. Plus, it has the return of Luke Skywalker and a hopefully well-handled farewell to Han Solo. Let’s hope it’s as good, if not better than Force Awakens. There haven’t been any official trailers, except this short clip of the end of Force Awakens, but I would check out Force Awakens again if you haven’t already!

Well, that’s my list, but what’s yours? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.