Movie Review: Moana, Disney’s Best Animated Story Yet

For years we’ve been complaining about Disney cartoons. Why are the girls always stick thin? Why is there always a princess story? Why is the man always the hero? Even in Frozen, where the sisters save each other and Elsa is a strong female character, there is a still a romance. We saw Moana over the weekend, and Disney has FINALLY gotten it right.

If you haven’t taken your children to see this movie yet, go ASAP. It’s amazing! I honestly wasn’t expecting much because the previews really hadn’t shown anything other than Maui, the tattooed demigod. I had no idea I was in for such a treat.

8 reasons Moana is my new favorite Disney movie

8. Both of Moana’s parents are still alive
OK, so Moana’s grandmother dies early in the movie, but it’s of natural causes. No one dies prematurely in any horrific accident in this movie. It’s so refreshing! Her father is a little overbearing, but he’s just doing what’s worked for his people in the past, and he’s trying to keep his family safe. Her mother is incredibly supportive. Both of her parents love her fiercely.
7. Moana is not a size 0
Finally! A Disney “princess” who isn’t sickly skinny. Granted, she’s still thin – I’d guess about a size 8, but she looks so much more average than any other Disney princess. And she was gorgeous! And so strong. So healthy.
6. Moana, a female, is going to inherit the chiefdom from her father
In this particular South Pacific society, the chiefdom can be pass from father to daughter. I loved that Moana isn’t exactly a princess, and that she was going to be the ruler of her people. And her parents never once mention picking a man to marry to help her rule.
5. There is no love story
I love romance as much as the next woman, but do we need a love story in every kids movie? No! Geez. Children don’t need to be concerned with romance and marriage. This movie has a great friendship story, and I think that’s enough for kids.
4. The music
One word: amazing! Check it out on YouTube. All songs were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer of Hamilton. I don’t know anything about music, but it seems that the songs were much more complex (as far as musical composition) than any recent Disney movie. But at the same time they were catchy, upbeat, and so fun. I’m listening to the soundtrack as I write this post. It’s the perfect mix of ethnic music, quirky bad guy songs, and one amazing power ballad.
3. The diverse castAll of the characters in this story are people of color, and Disney had a diverse cast play those characters. Unlike Kubo and the Two Strings, which was an Asian tale filled with white actors, Disney tried to stay true to the characters for the most part.

2. Moana is SO brave
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but she faces some very intense stuff. She is so brave. She doesn’t need a man. She defies her father, and she is determine to do what is best for her people. My son even said he’d be scared to do everything that she did. I said I would have been too. What a great role model!
1. Moana saves herself and her people
Yup. Moana saves everyone in this movie. Not the guy, Maui. Sure, he helps, but she’s the one that doesn’t give up. She is phenomenal.
I was almost in tears at the end of this movie. Disney finally, FINALLY, got it right. As a woman who grew up loving Disney movies but believes that woman should be independent and powerful, just like men, this movie is everything I ever wanted.

Have you seen Moana? What did you think?

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