This post is spoiler free because I want everyone to read it. You should go see “Moana”. Seriously. Right now. I don’t just say this because I am a huge Disney fan. I say this because this movie is amazing on so many different levels. I just saw it for a second time and am contemplating a third. I already know that I will own it. Here are just a few reasons why.
5. It was my favorite movie of 2016.
How did I determine this? Easy. It was the only movie I saw all year that made me immediately want to walk back into the theater and see it again. Literally. I wanted to buy another ticket and sit back down in my seat and watch the whole thing again. No other movie elicited that response from me all year.
4. It was beautiful.
The Polynesian landscape was captured perfectly by the Disney animators. The water, the wind, the plants were all artistically recreated to form a beautiful world that was bigger than the story that was told. I knew there was more over the horizon just waiting to be discovered.
3. It made me curious.
After watching “Moana” I wanted to (In no particular order): learn more about Polynesian folk stories, learn how to hula, watch a full Haka, learn how to sail, and become a village crazy lady. I have managed to do one of these things. I have looked up Maui and read several of the stories about his adventures.
2. The music is extraordinary.
I purchased the soundtrack digitally before we left the parking lot and we listened to it on the way home. Even now, it gives me goosebumps. A portion of the songs are in Samoan (I think. I’m not sure about that) and I don’t know what the words are, but I know what they are saying. It is beautiful, powerful, and inspiring. I have already started a sermon based on the song “Where You Are”. I’m just waiting for the movie to be released on DVD so I can actually preach it.
1. It is a story about hope and community.
While the standard Disney themes of “Be true to yourself” and “Follow your dreams” are present “Moana” is ultimately about a group of people and their life together. Moana herself is not an outcast. She accepts the role she has been given. She has two living, loving parents. She and her people are content with the life they live. They move forward together into whatever might come. No one needs to be ‘fixed’ or ‘saved’. It is a story of redemption and wrong choices made right.
You should drop everything see it as soon as you can.