Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) is the daughter of a chief on an island in the South Pacific. She comes from a long line of navigators and wayfarers, she finds herself setting off on an adventure to save her island. The adventure has her paired up with Maui (Dwayne Johnson), the demigod as they seek to return Te Whiti’s heart and save her island and all that she loves. Moana is a story about friendship and discovering the strength of believing in each other.
Moana is a beautiful film. The colors are vibrant and the picture looked clear. The animation style was very enjoyable to look at. While it had the feel of a classic Disney animated film, it also had the complexities of CGI. This led to some fun Easter Eggs. It is a movie that I’m guessing more will be seen every time it is watched. The sound quality was impressive as well. The dialogue was easy to hear. Sound effects enhanced the viewing experience as well. Then there is the music, this was very enjoyable and added quite a lot to the movie. Overall, both audio and visual presentations were quite enjoyable.
There was a nice collection of extras released with Moana. There were some making of extras, some interesting details about the cast and crew, music, animated shorts, and some background information.They include the following:
- Theatrical Short Film: Inner Workings – With introduction by the filmmakers, Inner Workings is the story of the internal struggle between a man’s pragmatic, logical side and his free-spirited, adventurous half. Created by a small team at Walt Disney Animation Studios in a unique, fast-paced style that blends CG and traditional hand-drawn animation, the short explores the importance of finding balance in daily life.
- Maui Mini-Movie: “Gone Fishing” – When Maui decides it’s time to take charge of the ocean and catch his next meal, Moana must show him the error of his ways … with a little help from her friends!
- Voice of the Islands – An in-depth look at how Pacific Island people and cultures inspired the filmmakers to create the story of Moana.
- Things You Didn’t Know About …
- Meet the stars of Moana in this dynamic Q&A featuring Dwayne Johnson, newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho, and famed animation directors Ron and John.
- Meet the musical team behind Moana in this fascinating Q&A featuring Opetaia Foa‘i, Mark Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
- Island Fashion – Find out how costume designer Neysa Bové took on the unique challenge of creating costumes using materials and techniques native to the islands of Oceania.
- They Know the Way: Making the Music of Moana – Musicians Opetaia Foa‘I, MarK Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda take us on a personal journey through their involvement in the movie and how it changed their lives.
- Fishing for Easter Eggs – Dive deep into the ocean and fish for the Easter Eggs hidden by the animators at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
- The Elements of … – This series of four mini-docs explores the technical achievements behind some of the ground-breaking effects used in the film.
- Mini Maui – Meet “Mini Maui,” Maui’s tattoo sidekick. Animated by legendary hand-drawn animator Eric Goldberg, we explore how the 2D world collides with CG animation to bring the demigod’s tattoos to life.
- Water – In the movie, the ocean is a character. This piece explores how the water is given a personality, along with the technical feats of creating a believable ocean landscape farther than the eye can see.
- Lava – Te Kā is a creature made of lava, smoke, and fire. This piece dives into the challenges of making an animated creature of massive scale brought to fiery life by character, technical, and effects animators.
- Hair – One of the greatest technical achievements of the film was the animation of the beautiful, curly hair on Moana and Maui. Take a look at the hair-raising detail that goes into animating each strand, adding performance to the movie that has never been seen before.
- Deleted Song: “Warrior Face” – With introduction by songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda.
- Deleted Scenes – Ron and John introduce the following deleted scenes: “Race the Wind/Ties that Bind”; “Discussing Moana’s Future”; “Under the Sea”; “Grandmother’s Warning/Legend of Maui”; “Education of Moana”; “Father, Daughter, Boat”; and “Canoe Race.”
- Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go” – Performed by Alessia Cara.
- “How Far I’ll Go Around the World” – Multi-language reel of the song “How Far I’ll Go.”
- Audio Commentary – With directors Ron and John.
- Theatrical Short Film: “Inner Workings,” Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go,” and Audio Commentary
This set of extras was very enjoyable to review and definitely worth watching… and rewatching. I particularly enjoyed seeing the cast and crew throughout the different parts of the process of making Moana. All of the bonus features were worth watching at least once. I wasn’t as big of a fan of the music videos but I really have nothing to complain about when it comes to the extras accompanying Moana.
Moana is a film that Walt Disney Animation Studios should be proud of. They should be even happier with the accompanying bonus features that come with them in this release. The film itself is enjoyable. The characters all make sense and are both believable and enjoyable. The music is catchy (I’m finding myself almost singing “you’re welcome” instead of saying it). The presentation looks and sounds great. It is a movie that has both heart and humor. All this to say, Moana on Blu-Ray or Digital HD download is a solid buy and worth adding to the collection. It is very easy to give a hat tip to this one. Go out and get it, you won’t regret it! You’re welcome.
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