Each and every morning the first thing my 5 year old does is get out of bed and rush over to her vanity to apply the perfect shade of bright pink lipstick. Then she rushes over to her ‘dress-up nook’ to put on her very favorite princess dress for the day. Her favorite changes daily, but her love for Princesses has been going strong for a few years now. So naturally when she found out about the newest Disney Princess, Moana, she was counting down the days until we could venture to our local theater to see it. Luckily for us, early last week we were able to get in some much needed family time, and decided to surprise our little princess with an after school movie date.
The movie begins with a glimpse into the life of a young Moana growing up on a beautiful tropical island. The animations of the island were breathtaking. The colors and the scenery were all so beautiful, even my little one, Avery, kept commenting on it being “such a pretty place to live.” Moana’s parents and sweet grandmother (Moana has a very sweet and touching relationship with her grandmother) are introduced, and some little animal friends as well. From the start of the movie it is clear that Moana is special and as she grows up she will discover all of her special gifts, and how to be the leader of the island’s people. Just as in almost all classic disney movies, there are wonderful songs ever present throughout the movie … and they’re all really catchy and fun.
When Moana’ decides to set sail to save her village’s plight and goes in search of the demigod, Maui —voiced by Dwayne “the rock” Johnson — her father doesn’t want her to go. He wants her to stay out of harm’s way and be happy on the island. But through conversations with her grandmother and beautiful signs from the ocean, Moana is moved to (literally) set sail on a great adventure past the safety of the island reef, in search of Maui. Most of the movie is set with Moana navigating through the middle of the ocean.
There are many lessons learned throughout the movie — perseverance, strength, loyalty, honor, trust, love to name a few.I really loved the character, Maui, he was pretty funny. And he was covered in tattoos which ended up dancing and singing all over his body. Avery got a real kick out of that. It was really nice to see a strong and tough Princess who had a voice to stand up for something she believed in. I believe the movie even refers to her as a Warrior. She wasn’t the typical Princess character, yet I still think she’d be appealing to both girly girls and adventure seekers alike.
As far as the villans of the movie go, the ‘bad guy’ in the movie is a mountain of lava who is on screen for a few minutes near the end and is a bit loud. It could be considered scary to some kids. But (Spoiler Alert), in the end the lava man turns out to be good so, I didn’t think it was too bad. When I asked Avery what her favorite parts were she said, ” when Moana and her dad sang songs, and the her little pet chicken.”
Sometimes it’s tough watching kids movies at the Berkshire Mall with those super-comfy reclining chairs. My husband is the king of “napping” through the movie. But this movie had all of our attention from start to finish. (I even caught my husband downloading the Moana soundtrack to his phone). Overall, I’d recommend this movie for ages 3+. I really liked it, and both my husband and Avery say, they loved it! I only wish we saw it in 3D because with the beautuiful and vibrant the animation, it would have made it that much better. Needless to say , I see a Moana costume at the top of Avery’s christmas list this year.