3P Reviews

Quicklist Reviews: Moana

Moana

Moana

 

Summary:

A Pacific Islands princess is sent on a quest to force a demigod who screwed up to unscrew his screwup.

 

Breakdown Rating:

Characters: 5
Aesthetics: 6
Animation: 7
Plot: 6
Pacing: 4
Sum: 28/50

 

Important Features:

  • Boats
  • Sailing
  • The ocean
  • The South Pacific
  • Volcanology
  • A shapeshifter
  • Coconuts
  • Music that is ten times better than that in Frozen and fifty times better than that in Tangled (fight me)
  • Moving tattoos
  • Dramatic backstories

 

Highlights:

  • The ending
  • Non-white characters who are as complex as other animated characters and at no point have to be saved by Mel Gibson
  • Truly amazing water
  • ADORABLE WIDDLE BABY SEA TURTLE!
  • Characters who take responsibility for their actions
  • Alan Tudyk voicing a chicken (the chicken does not talk)
  • Spectacular animation on this magical manta ray
  • Moana’s father’s accent
  • The way the hair falls off characters’ shoulders
  • The “I want something” song, the opening song, and the chorus vocals
  • Have I mentioned how lovely the animation in this film is?

 

Dregs:

  • Coconut people who come out of literally freaking nowhere
  • The giant, um, singing crab
  • Pee joke
  • Modern references
  • The pacing
  • Sailboats that can sail against the wind and current, somehow
  • Random character death to inspire the protagonist to go on her journey
  • Resolution of conflicts about four minutes after they arise
  • Disney dialogue
  • Unreasonable parent whose opinion will be swayed by the end
  • Magical, easily-lost MacGuffin
  • Not enough sharks (okay, there’s one, but it looks dumb)

 

Spoiler Notes:

  • What’s with the Ten Commandments reference?
  • No, seriously, what killed the grandmother? Did she have a heart attack? Did she trip and fall? Did she have Protagonist Motivation Disease?
  • Why does the volcano have two names? And if it has two names, why does nobody know that the volcano is the island?
  • It’s awfully convenient that pretty much the first place Moana ends up is the mythical island where Maui is
  • Why does the volcano knock them away when it’s mainly trying to get the exact thing they are willingly bringing to it?

 

Lingering Questions:

  • Why can’t More princess movies be like this?
  • As helpful as the ocean is in the film, could it not have pretty much taken Moana wherever she needed to go by itself?
  • On that note, why does Maui specifically have to return the MacGuffin himself?
  • Given that Moana means ocean, and assuming the characters are speaking a South Pacific language in their world, wouldn’t Moana’s name and ocean interactions get confusing? “I am my friend.”
  • Why does Maui have hair as a bird? Especially considering the hair he has as a bird isn’t the same style of hair that he has as a human?
  • Why do people love the Rock so much? I understand he can be a decent actor in a Vin Diesel sort of way, but the way people go on about him you’d think he was next in line to be Jesus.

 

Verdict:

Pretty animation, good message, but what is with the pacing?

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