Monday, March 13, 2017

Blu-ray Review: "Moana"

Disney's "Moana" is a perfect page right out of Joseph Campbell's blueprint for the hero's journey. The way it takes two different characters searching to find themselves and their destinies and intertwines them together is wonderfully crafted. Although the amount of musical numbers was a bit much for me, fans of classic Disney films will find it charming and even witty at times.

In "Moana," a spirited teenager (Auli'i Cravalho) sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors' unfinished quest. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson). Together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds.

Many religious folks might be offended by the use of gods and goddesses to tell the tale of "Moana." One character talks about reincarnation as well. I look at movies like these as just mythological stories and entertainment like "Clash of the Titans" or even "Harry Potter."

"Moana" is rated PG for peril, some scary images and brief thematic elements. Some of the giant monsters will no doubt be a bit disturbing for younger viewers. There are quite a few dramatic moments where Moana and Maui face off against different types of creatures and must soldier through storms and other treacherous mishaps.

The Blu-ray edition of "Moana" comes with some great special fetures. There are several featurettes which include "Voice of the Islands," "Things You Didn't Know About...," "Island Fashion," "The Elements Of...," "They Know the Way: Making the Music of 'Moana,'" and "Fishing for Easter Eggs." We also get deleted scenes, audio commentary, the theatrical short film "Inner Workings," Maui mini-movie "Gone Fishing," and music videos "How Far I'll Go" by Alessia Cara and "'How Far I'll Go' Around the World" performed in different languages.

"Moana" came out for home viewing on March 7th, 2017. It was directed by Ron Clements ("The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin") and Don Hall ("Big Hero 6," "Winnie the Pooh"). The cast includes Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, and Temuera Morrison. The running time is 107 minutes.

"Moana" is available now on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

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