Moana 2016 movie review

moana movie review 2016

It is safe to say that 2016 has been lacklustre when it comes to the big screen. The DC universe was the biggest disappointment with both Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad failing to reach the high bar set by the previous DC ventures. But then, there were a few good ones like Rogue One and Doctor Strange that made this year better for us. But when it comes to animated, we were once again treated to amazing stories that lasted in our minds a lot more than the regular movies. We all loved to go into the world of Nemo in Finding Dory and while Kung Fu Panda kinda disappointed, it was still nice to see our favorite characters back on the screen again.

Among these computer-generated productions, Walt Disney’s Moana was one of my favorites from this year. Starring Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” and Auli’i Cravalho in a starring role and based on a Hawaiian legend, Moana managed to steal our hearts with its cute humour and wonderful graphics. If you want to livestream movies online, be sure to visit!

Now Moana is based on Hawaii around a teenage girl from a tiny Polynesian village on an island who has to find this Shapeshifting demigod named Maui (Johnson) to get a hold of a mystical goddess’s heart. Now the whole setting is really light and funny and Auli’i gives a perfect performance as Moana, the adventurous, yet incredibly cute little girl who has some powers over the water. Dwayne Johnson also fits in the plot perfectly with his timely jokes and his rendering of the local demigod Maui. His voice seems to be following the facial expressions of his cartoon character religiously!

The ocean is there and Moana and Maui get on an amazing adventure to retrieve the magical objects from the villain’s backyard. I love the colors from the animated movie and somehow it reminds me a lot of Lilo and Stitch, which was probably the cutest cartoon film from the early 2000s. Moana is very similar in both appearance and character as Lilo (though not an oddball like the latter) and she also loves sailing around in the sea picking the right conversations with the wrong guys! The music is Hawaiian mixed with English songs and gives a feeling of energetic euphoria throughout. I love Hawaiian!

Moana (2016) Movie Trailer

The film was released on November 23, 2016 and has grossed over $350 million dollars worldwide against a budget of $150 million which isn’t much considering the success of animated movies we see around the block but it is a little confusing to me since it is one solid family entertainment and all adults liked it as well with over great ratings from Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic.

But, like every film, it has its critics. Now Maui is a revered figure in Polynesian way of life and so does Moana. The depiction of both these characters has received flack from local circles as people don’t like their cultural icons displayed in a way that is not coherent with the folklore. Maui is particularly criticized because the filmmakers organized it as an overweight, jolly demigod that is exactly opposite of what the Polynesians remember him for and as a result, minor problems presented themselves to the producers during and after the release. But, nevertheless, it was an amazing animation that deserves applause for its originality and funny setting.

Moana is a complete cinematic experience in 3D with some jaw-dropping colorful animation and solid screen performances that can’t be missed. So, if 2016 has been one bad year for you movie wise, get ready to go to the theatres for a fun ride that gives me the Rio vibes!

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