Moana Movie Review | Safe for Kids? #Moana
I admit that I had low expectations for this movie…like really low. I’m a huge Disney fan, but for some reason, I kept thinking that Disney’s Moana was going to be another Lilo & Stitch remake. Moana = Lilo. Maui = weird God/Human/Alien type thing. Needless to say, I was very skeptical going into this Disney film. But here lies the Moana Movie Review from one mom to another. Is this a Disney movie flop or an award-winning animation success? Is Moana Safe for Kids to see? What about that PG rating? This spoiler-free review will give parents the answers we need as we prepare for yet another Disney movie release.
Disney did a good job not revealing the whole story enchilada for this film. You know that there’s a chieftain daughter (aka princess), a demi-God and some supernatural powers involved. And for some reason a really odd chicken, walking coconuts and half-crazy grandma. But unexpected are the twists and turns that this princess and demi-God undergo during this epic water bound adventure (Oh yeah, there’s a boat too). Mythical creatures, gods, and storybook endings are all laced with the struggle between good and evil, humanity and self-sacrifice, love and hate, selflessness and self-preservation. It’s everything you’d want in a Disney movie – a place where fairy-tales and folks tales blend together, all with a few life lessons. I had one good “Disney moment” – a tear or two may have fallen. Be warned.
Disney Animation has really gone wild with the water visuals. In Moana, it’s breathtaking. Gorgeous colors, swirling seas, stunning and captivating Disney level animation that had my kids glued to their chairs for the entire film. We did see this one in 3D also, highly recommend for those that really want a true appreciation for the animation, especially those water scenes.
Now I normally don’t have a music aspect of my movie reviews. But hands down I will say it proudly; Moana’s music is what makes the movie. Perhaps it’s the genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda behind the song creation instant favorites like “How Far I’ll Go” & “We Know the Way.” Perhaps it’s the fact that the actors Aul’i Cravahlo and Dwayne Johnson actually sing the songs. Either way, I’ll bet that your family will be saying “You’re Welcome” on the way out of the theaters. The music is just insanely “Disney” good. Dare I say, it has the Disney classic song feel of The Little Mermaid and Frozen combo. I haven’t loved Disney music like this in a very long time.
In fact, I’m already buying the Moana soundtrack. That’s how much I loved every song. I’m so excited to see Disney bringing the music back to the forefront of their animated films.
That PG Rating
Following traditional island culture, Moana has history rooted in Fiji/Polynesian customs. This is a story about Gods, demi-Gods, creatures and monsters. For those that are the age of my 3-year old, some of those moments are a bit scary. Darkness, fire, creepy faces – I had my toddler crawling in my lap faster than you can say “heart of Tafiti.”
But this fairy-tale action-packed PG movie is on par with the rating of Frozen.
So if you’re child can sit through the 1,000th rendition of Let It Go with a big snow monster in there, they’ll be just fine.
But more importantly for today’s modern princess, Moana brings hope to our young ladies. This Disney princess (who doesn’t see herself as one), responds to a strong testament that you don’t need a man to be strong woman. There’s no love interest to be found in this film (hallelujah!). Moana is bright, independent, resourceful and brave – and spoiler, she’s also multi-cultural. She’s exactly the type of Disney princess I have hoped for – with two peering eyes of my beautiful little girl watching every footstep. Moana is the strong Disney princess I want my little girl to look up to.
As far as the boys, my 8-year old loved this movie just as much as my princess toddler. There’s plenty of action to keep your young man intrigued as well. A giant magical fish hook (weapon), a feisty encounter with a bunch of walking coconuts, monsters and an epic battle with gods, this oceanic adventure will have your whole family enraptured.
Stay to the End…The Very End
Nope, no spoilers. But Disney fans are going to want to stay until the very last credit is played. It’s definitely worth the wait, promise! Excited for Disney’s Moana? Grab your FREE Moana Coloring Sheets & Kids Activities. Disney’s Moana opens in theaters everywhere Wednesday November 23, 2016.
Will your family be seeing Disney’s Moana? How did the film compare to your expectations?
I was invited to a media screening of Disney’s Moana. All opinions are my own. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more of family movie reviews, Disney movie updates and more.
Looking for more?