Moana/Vaiana (2016): Disney down to a formula.

Fun fact: Māui made his brothers capture the sun with ropes so he could beat the sun into submission with a jaw bone so it would make the days last longer.

Without this movie, I would never have learned this tale, so that alone makes this film worth existing. Seriously though, this is if you take everything Disney and then distill it and grind it down into a formula and send it off to some of the most talented people in the industry to present it as visually stunning as they can. This movie is the very notion of functional storytelling. They have figured out the Disney way of making movies like machinery, and I honestly didn’t feel the Disney magic in this one, even though it has some incredible animation going on and there are no major flaws I can point at.

This movie have the most tacked on comedic sidekick they have ever done. If you saw the marketing you would think it would be the cute pig. but it’s actually a retarded chicken, and it’s clucking noises was made by the severely underused Alan Tudyk. If Disney is going to keep him capture, I wish they would at least use him more and better. It was obvious that the chicken was in the movie because of the higher ups. because they did nothing with him. They barely did any jokes with him. But the positive side of them not doing anything with him other than the rare joke of him eating everything wrong is that he wasn’t as intrusive as Olaf was in Frozen. So he ultimately has a very harmless presence in the movie and doesn’t ruin anything. It was more how unnecessary to the movie he was that confused me a bit.

I will admit I know little of Polynesian myths, but for what it’s worth I have been told second hand that this movie did its research and got a lot of the mythos right and even the character of Maui. From what I have heard he was described as “An asshole who likes helping people”.  But I will try to stay away from this aspect of the movie to avoid

What kind of writer would I be if I wrote about a Disney movie without mentioning the songs? And the songs in this film is… alright but generic Disney songs. I never miss an opportunity to plug sideways into anything. And I must say that his Disney video was an excellent watch before seeing the movie. It made me appreciate and think about a song I would probably forget as I was listening and not think twice about. There was one song that I liked, however. “What can I say except you’re welcome” song by Māui. Dwayne Johnson is not a singer as far as I know. But he gets around it and does a sort of sing-talking that makes the song stand out, and it was also quite catchy and interestingly animated.

I originally wasn’t so keen on the whole idea that Dwayne Johnson should be in everything. During his rise in popularity, I ended up seeing him in Journey 2, race to witch mountain, pain and gain and fast and the furious. And I wasn’t too impressed. But in hindsight, I think it was more because of the movies and not Dwayne. The more your watch of The Rock the more your realise that he gives 100% to any role whether or not the movie deserves it. And when I look back at any of those bad movies, Dwayne was definitely the most memorable and even the highlight of the movies. So this all leads up to me being completely on with the idea that Dwayne is the most well-paid actor in Hollywood.  And going by the behind-the-scenes of this movie, he appears to be a genuinely great guy.

What apparently happened was that he decided that he wouldn’t just be hired because of his name and wanted to take the act of voice acting seriously, so Dwayne would regularly talk with the other voice acting about feedback and inquire if he was doing different aspects of it right. So I am a  part of the Rockslide now.

This movie is predictable and enjoyable Disney while also containing some expected but beautiful fluid animation. You can do much worse with a movie and I was certainly entertained by it. Might fall on the forgettable side though.

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2 thoughts on “Moana/Vaiana (2016): Disney down to a formula.

    1. I know, I noticed right after I made the page and you need premium to change it. And I have actually seen your name. But I want to keep the post chronological, so there will be a Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 article before Your name.

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