While more recent years have brought changes to the typical damsel in distress who must be saved by her strapping love interest theme, when a film can instead feature a heroine on a journey of self-discovery who is empowered to find her own identity, I take notice. She's independent, progressive, ready for a challenge, cares about the environment, and not afraid to stand up for what she believes?
No wonder I was ready to welcome Moana into our lives with open arms!
The sweeping story of a spirited teenager who sets sail on a daring adventure to save her people, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana has received rave reviews from the moment it hit the big screen.
According to directors Ron Clements and John Musker, the story of Moana was inspired by the great explorers who masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. "Voyaging is a real source of pride for many Pacific Islanders, a part of their identity," says Clements. Many experts believe that about 3,000 years ago, those deep-sea exploratory voyages halted for about a millennium before resuming.
This rebirth of exploration sparked the filmmakers' imaginations, and the heroine at the heart of the story. "The idea of a teenage girl who dreamed of becoming a navigator—considering the abilities of her ancestors—was so appealing," explains Musker. Moana's quest to become a wayfinder also serves as a journey of self-discovery, empowering her to find her own identity, a beautiful and powerful message for audiences of all ages and genders.
Families near and far can now continue the fun-filled adventure with brave and tenacious Moana and larger-than-life demigod Maui, as Moana is available today, March 7th, on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand!
Inspired by her grandmother, Moana is on a mission to restore the Heart of Te Fiti, a magical stone stolen years ago by Maui... but why not also enjoy hours of extensive and entertaining bonus offerings while watching her do so?
Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D bonus features include:
- Theatrical Short Film: Inner Workings – With an introduction by the filmmakers, this story tells 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.
- Meet the stars of Moana – a dynamic Q&A featuring Dwayne Johnson, newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho, and famed animation directors Ron and John.
- Meet the musical team behind Moana – a 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, Marc Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda take viewers 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.
With a feature running time of approximately 90 minutes, keep an eye out for Moana in stores near you, from Disney or on Amazon. You can also keep up with all things Moana by connecting with the film on Facebook and Disney Animation on Twitter and Instagram.
Want to celebrate the release of Moana even more? Check out these fun (free!) crafts and activities!
Other than a copy of Moana that I was provided in order to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This review is solely my honest opinion about this product.