...and hugely misogynistic, despite the staged setting. Unfortunately, most WWE fans won't get that irony and think it's okay to sing that kind of song. Amazingly, though, Johnson manages to make it fun and almost lighthearted enough to be family entertainment. But there's a line and I'm still not sure if it was crossed here. "You're Welcome" it ain't!
Glad Rand enjoyed both Kubo (he can go back and finally read my recent reviews now! Interestingly I described it as the result of what might happen if Pixar genuinely made a Ghibli style movie, albeit stop-motion) and Moana...I've had the soundtrack playing for a couple of weeks now too!
Kubo may be the year's most unique animated film, and Moana may be he most accomplished all-rounder, but I think Zootopia will ultimately take the awards. We just watched it again the night before last and it just keeps getting better and better in terms of subtle messages and how it deals with various issues, amazing for a family entertainment piece.
I think Moana is a dead cert for a song nom, though, and hopefully a win, either for How Far or Welcome.
Ben wrote:...and hugely misogynistic, despite the staged setting. Unfortunately, most WWF fans won't get that irony and think it's okay to sing that kind of song. Amazingly, though, Johnson manages to make it fun and almost lighthearted enough to be family entertainment. But there's a line and I'm still not sure if it was crossed here. "You're Welcome" it ain't!
Psst...Wrestling isn't real--"The Rock" is supposed to be an obnoxious "bad guy" jerk, and the characters are supposed to pick big stagey-rally schoolyard fights.
(WWE even finally had to confess It's Not Real years ago, just for arena-insurance regulations, and whether the fans choose to be smart enough to believe it is up to the individual fans.)
Maui's a bit more likable, but still in Johnson/Rock character of being not exactly shy on ego, and coming up short on social graces and tact when it comes to playing up his cool points. (At least, as I abundantly understand from the trailer and "You're Welcome" clip.)
I really admire the strong theme of identity in this film. By how Moana is conflicted between her longing to go to the ocean and doing what's right for her people. How the two things are bridged together in the end by Moana learning about who she really is, about her people's past and culture. It is also there with Maui, who learns who he is with or without the hook.
And it is beautifully concluded in the climax by Moana helping Te Fiti come around to who she really is, thus saving the world and her people.
I also really like how the women here support each other, whether it's Tala who brings Moana consolation when she fails, or Sina who understands Moana's wishes and lets her go against Tui's cause it's the right thing to do, and finally Moana, who helps Te Fiti regain her heart.
Moana's arch is about becoming a good leader to her people, but in order to do that she needs to be set on her journey. Her want is to be in the ocean, her need is to learn how to go on the ocean benefits her people. That's why she goes through a wayfinding lesson cause without it she can't really do her role as a leader, that's why she learns about her people's past and culture, because she needs to learn about her history in order to lead her people to their future, in the same way the theme of identity is about Moana, Maui, Te Fiti, it is also about Motunui's people. They lost their identity as a people when they stopped voyaging, and Moana is the person who's going to help them regain it.
I do however think that Maui should have learn that his abilities comes from him and not the hook and the hook should have remained destroyed in the end.
Another thing that came to me is that there's a beautiful deconstruction about the Chosen One narrative. The movie say that it's the actions of Moana that make her heroic, not her destiny as a Chosen One. While in most stories the Chosen One is in denial about it until they realize that they have no choice and have to take the role of a hero. Also these kind of stories usually tell that only certain people are worthy due to certain characteristics. Moana was chosen by the ocean because she showed compassion, not because she's the daughter of the chief.
I feel like this film has a lot of nuance and so many things under the surface, which is easy to overlook because on the surface it seems like an ordinary Disney formulaic film while it has much more in my opinion.
A few Disney-centric YouTube vloggers, though, have asked the key Moana question while assuming the already agreed-upon fan complaint:
"Do Disney films work better WITHOUT any central villain whatsoever?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doQB5d3Gggw
(A few theorists tried to grasp at straws and say "Well...like...maybe Maui's the villain, because he caused all the problems in the first place? " Yep, we're that desperate to make head or tail of it.)
I would also add that in my opinion Moana is the first film since probably Hercules that actually felt like a musical and not just a film with songs in it. Its music and songs are intertwined with its plot, characters and central themes. They emotionally progress as Moana does.