Disclosure: This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, opinions and experiences are 100% my own!
Why I LOVE Disney’s MOANA (and why I think you will too!)
Yesterday I shared with you my experience at the WORLD PREMIERE of Disney’s MOANA.
It’s no big secret that I gush over Disney films. Very rarely do they disappoint me. On that same note, very rarely do they surprise me. I think that the last time I was truly surprised with a Disney film was when I attended the world premiere of FROZEN a few years ago. Just as I did when I first watched FROZEN, I went into the MOANA screening knowing I would enjoy it, but not having any clue as to how deeply I would be moved by it.
It is truly a refreshingly unique film with SO much to offer.
What makes this movie fantastic?
Is it the music? The amazing animation? The story? The culture? The several “I didn’t see that coming!” moments? The characters? The music? (did I say that twice?) I can honestly tell you that it is all of the above.
I think that it has become very important for Disney to find ways to tell new stories and to go out on a limb when telling them. To find heroes for us that are not expected, and relationships that are not predictable. I’m sure that this gets to be quite challenging with the amount of films that they release each year but kudos for them for getting it right (again).
MOANA brings us a completely new adventure. A new landscape, people and culture. It is quite obvious that Disney took great care in this new territory both on educating themselves on the culture and the geography. One of my very favorite things about John Lasseter is that he is a stickler for research and “getting it right” and clearly, his team stuck to this goal. In fact, Disney was so committed to the research and educational pieces in this film that they created what is now called the Oceanic Trust. This trust includes a variety of historians, anthropologists, cultural experts, dancers, etc. who contributed their strong knowledge and passion for the Pacific Islands and her people.
New Characters to love
Oh gosh, and you will love them. Just start adding them to the Christmas lists now people… this movie has some fantastic personalities and ONLY Disney could make use fall in love with a goofy rooster. BUT you will. You might even find yourself cracking up over a coconut with a painted face. Animation and comedy at it’s finest.
Lessons for the entire family
The fact that the film is based on the Polynesian demi-god Maui meant that Disney had their work cut out for them in keeping true to the legends of Maui and what this story should look like to honor the history and culture behind it. As it turns out, all of that lends to some very education information sharing and I think that you will find this movie to be eye opening and moving for kids and adults alike! I’m always a fan of conversation starters, and this movie will definitely create some interest and excitement about the Polynesian culture.
And something that we can all relate to: Family. This film has a very strong family theme.
Who should see this film?
MOANA is rated PG. Great news… it’s great for the entire family. I have been asked about the “scariness” of this film. It definitely has it’s exciting moments, but nothing too dark or frightening, right along the same lines as the scenes in other Disney films of the same rating.
Easter eggs in MOANA
Something that all Disney fans love: Easter eggs. There are some fantastic Easter Eggs (Directors Ron Clements and John Musker – interview coming soon – have a long history and tradition of entertaining us these hidden gems) and for those of you that enjoy them, some will be quite obvious and there are others that you will need to search for. I will give you a few hints: a few of our friends from FROZEN make appearances, along with a few LITTLE MERMAID friends too!
The music. Oh my heart. The music!
I can’t write this review without mentioning again (see more videos in my post about the world premiere of MOANA here) how amazing the music is in this film. In fact, the very first voice that you will hear in the movie MOANA is that of Olivia Foa’i who is the daughter of Opetaia Foa’i. (shown in the video below) She has the voice of an angel, and honestly, I don’t know that I have ever felt that music contributed so much to a film before, but it certainly does in this case.
Pre-order the MOANA soundtrack.
You can pre-order the MOANA soundtrack right now on Amazon (I already did!) and I can’t wait. I promise you, this music is EVERYTHING!
Disney’s newest short: Inner Workings
As you probably know, one of the most exciting parts (for me, at least) about seeing new Disney films are the movie shorts that accompany them. The short at the beginning of MOANA is called Inner Workings and it is a very unique story that I think you will really enjoy. I don’t even want to give too much of it away, except to tell you that I think you will really enjoy it.
I had the chance to actually meet with with Director Leo Matsuda and Producer Sean Lurie and get a behind the scenes peek at what went into making this character Paul who is the star of the short. Truly a fantastic short, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
— Keri Lyn Renner (@SheSaved) November 14, 2016
Just in case you are wondering what MOANA is all about, here’s a peek at the trailer:
Cast and Filmmaker Interviews Coming Soon!
Even more exciting, I have interviews with many of the folks that you see above coming to the blog soon, so watch for those in the coming week!
Moana hits theatres on November 23rd!