“Moana” (2016)

This feels exactly like an old-fashioned Disney animated film, and I mean that as a compliment. Both Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson give incredible performances of two fantastically written characters and bounce off of each other naturally. The songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda are all incredible and catchy; there’s not an underwhelming number in the lot. And the film, despite being mostly set on the sea, is visually striking. Pretty much the only thing holding this back is it does adhere too closely to the typical Disney formula. Probably the cliché that bothers me the most is the overbearing parent who doesn’t understand the desires of the protagonist. Otherwise, this is an extremely entertaining adventure, with great memorable characters, gorgeous animation, and incredible music.

Rating: 4.5/5


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