Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Cast: Auli’I Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jermaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk, Oscar Kightley, Troy Polamalu, Puanani Cravalho, Louise Bush.
Disney was always famed for its groundbreaking artistry and embracement of great tales in which other cultures or long forgotten fairy tales were explored in the realms of high class animation, yet somehow it has lost out and meandered in the last couple of decades to its subsidiary Pixar and in many ways to the people behind games development. Disney, as a brand name, has got so much time to make upon that it could be in danger of falling behind so far that it will only be remembered in the realms of nostalgia and for bringing Mickey Mouse into the world.
However, and despite all the live action films they have immersed themselves in, Disney is still a powerful name in animation and in their latest release Moana, the magic of story-telling is very much in evidence and one to be celebrated.
Moana is a film that embraces a very different aspect of life, that of the proud race of people of the Polynesian islands, of the tribes that make up the Pacific ring of fire and to whom their own legends are just as enthralling as those you would find told and recounted by Native Americans or the tales that inspired the Brothers Grimm in Europe. Moana though has a very different feel though compared to other heroines that have dominated the screen over the decades. This is arguably the most feisty, fiercely independent woman that Disney have captured in all its animated films, one that is voiced superbly by Auli’I Cravalho and to whom has a great relationship on screen with Dwayne Johnson’s Demi-God Maui.
There are so many facets to the film, intellectually intriguing, fable stimulating and the spirit of adventure that is framed so neatly, so interestingly on screen; it is almost as if this film perhaps signals a rebirth in the attitude that Disney has to making animated films, that the 21st Century has finally caught up with the grand old mouse and history. It certainly has the feel of freshness caught up in it’s the cinema goers attention and one that cannot or should not be dismissed.
A new approach for a new age, it never is too late to fall in love with Disney is seems.
Ian D. Hall