In its never-ending quest to extract as much cash as possible from pre-teen girls of every conceivable ethnic background, Disney adds Polynesian princess Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) to its ever growing stable. Excuse me, “chief’s daughter.” Moana states very explicitly, and quite indignantly, that she is NOT a princess. Her companion, demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) immediately calls BS on that denial. This exchange is just one of many instances where Disney sheepishly admits to the audience that they’re just following the usual formula. They know it, you know it, we’re all in on it together, so just sit back and look at the pretty scenery.
And the scenery is pretty. More than pretty, actually, it’s gorgeous. The water effects are some of the best I’ve seen in any medium, and the islands are stunning. The animators succeeded in creating a visually beautiful paradise. I found myself wishing I could visit those islands and swim in that ocean. Continue reading