3P Reviews

Quicklist Reviews: Moana





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



  • 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
  • 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?



  • 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.



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

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