Plot/Summary: Goddess Te Fiti creates all life and takes the form of an island. Maui (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson), a shape shifting hero, steals her heart (a piece of glowing rock) bringing a curse on surrounding islands. In the process he also loses his magical fish hook and is rendered super-powerless. Moana (Auli’I Cravalho) the princess of one such affected island is chosen by the Ocean to find Maui and restore the heart of Te Fiti. 8.5/10
Cinematography: Moana is a breath-taking film. It is beautifully animated and colorful. The production design team was determined to make Moana as authentic as possible. The designers traveled through several Pacific Islands before they began work on the animation. That attention to detail is apparent throughout this film. 8/10
Characterization: Auli’I Cravlho is excellent as Moana. She brings both heart and humor to this role. Maui played by Dwayne Johnson is a quirky character who brings comic relief. These two characters carry this movie with their undeniable chemistry. 7.5/10
Conclusion: On paper Moana is a quintessential Disney story; there’s an aspirational princess, a flawed hero, goofy comic relief (a senile grandma, and a brainless chicken) the promise of a happy ending and of course the golden message of chasing what your heart desires. Moana literally means “the ocean” and as the heroine conquers her namesake she also conquers your heart. You won’t regret setting sail on voyages with her.
Final Score: 8.0/10