Moana: "Soon I'll Know How Far I'll Go"

Director: Ron Clements
                John Musker
Writer:    Jared Bush
Starring: Auli'i Cravalho
                Dwayne Johnson
                Rachel House
                Tamuera Morrison
                Jemaine Clement
                Nicole Scherzinger
                Alan Tudyk
Rating:    ****

Release Date: Out Now

Last year saw Disney release Zootopia, a heartfelt, funny and progressive look at issues that are sadly effecting the world we live in on a daily basis. It dealt with the subject in a child friendly manner, and taught a beautiful lesson. It is no surprise that Disney has gone been dragged through various controversies, whether due to racism or sexism; thankfully something the House of Mouse tries to avoid now. So what better way to end 2016 and welcome 2017 then with a brand new Disney princess.

Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora were the epitome of  damsel in distress, in need of a strong man to save them from the bad guy. Then along game Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan, women who started to dream of more than their prince, and happened across a prince on their adventures. Tiana, Rapunzel and Merida were the final official princesses, they looked for adventure, wanted more for their life, and worked hard to get what they wanted. If you also then include Anna and Elsa, then you have even stronger women standing strong together, and of course meaning that there have been two Princesses who haven't ended their film with a prince, these being Merida and Elsa.

Along comes Moana (Cravalho) daughter of a village chief who wants nothing more than to venture off of the island Motunui, and beyond the reef to catch the fish that the villagers so desperately need, her father however stops her from doing this as it is too dangerous. However Moana isn't going to let this hold her back, and following her grandmothers dying instructions, she ventures off to find the Demi-God, Maui (Johnson), who's greediness is putting her village in danger. She must convince him to return something he stole, before it is too late.

Moana is a colourful, energetic and stunning visual journey that is full of soul, family and epic adventure. Disney manages to balance so perfectly on that line of childish silliness and sophisticated film making; making films that literally appeal to the masses, and that is no different here.

The stars of the film are of course Dwayne Johnson and newcomer Auli'i Cravalho; who truly bring their animated counterparts to life. There is nothing surprising about Johnson absolutely nailing a slightly arrogant but lovable Demi-God, but it is Cravalho who steals all the shows. She delivers warmth, strength and vocals to die for; truly pushing Moana ahead of many of the classic Disney Princesses. 

Of course no Disney Princess film would be complete without a soaring soundtrack, that children will sing until adults can't take anymore, and adults will secretly belt out in their cars on the school run. The soundtrack has been written by Broadway star and musical creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, and it is so clearly created by him, and that makes it so perfect. He has a sound that can't be matched (see In The Heights and of course the breakout musical Hamilton), with 'You're Welcome' sounding the most familiar, and 'How Far I'll Go' of course being Moana's big moment, and a true Disney classic in the making.

Moana is everything a Disney movie needs to be, and also so much more. She, as a character, is a strong role model for all children, being strong-willed, caring and adventurous, and she looks more like a healthy human than a Disney female ever has before. I am over the world believing these characters are for girls, because the last time I checked, the values that Moana stands for are something we could all live by. Ron Clements and John Musker have directed a Disney classic, and it is a film that I will happily add to my must watch again list.

Moana - Trailer