Voices of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Auli’i Cravalho, Rachel House, Jemaine Clement, Alan Tudyk, Nicole Scherzinger
Beautiful. Winning. Limited.
Disney princess movie, Polynesian style. A brave young girl, Moana, sees an opportunity to explore the world when her beloved island home comes under attack by supernatural forces. She sets out to put things right with the help of vain demi-god Maui (voiced by The Rock) and a brainless chicken. Many aspects of the film feel fresh (like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music) blending well with Disney’s traditional elements, and the animation is marvelous. The overall journey, on the other hand, seems slight, and the limited supporting cast keeps the picture in the middle of the pack in terms of Disney’s canon. Maui and the princess are fantastic, but with no villain, no romance, and no memorable comic relief, Moana fails to truly soar.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-