“Moana” breaks the Disney princess mold


Walt Disney Pictures

Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) and Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson)

  On Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, the day before Thanksgiving, movie theaters were packed with both kids and adults alike waiting to see the new Disney movie, “Moana.” Moana, the daughter of the chief of a tribe that lives on the Polynesian island Motunui, sets out on an oceanic voyage with the demigod Maui to save her people when their food supply starts drying up and to return the stolen heart of goddess Te Fiti.

  Moana, played by 16-year-old Auli’i Cravalho, is a brave young girl who is trying to find her own way and ends up on a voyage everyone told her was too dangerous to venture. She is discouraged again and again by her father, but she doesn’t listen and instead decides to forge her own path. When she sets out on her journey, she doesn’t let anyone tell her what she can or can’t do. Along the way, she meets a Maui, who also tells her often that the world is a dangerous place, and she should stay where she’s safe.

  The other important character, Maui, is a demigod played by Dwayne Johnson. He is arrogant and full of himself, but charming in a way all Disney characters seem to be. He was saved by the gods and granted supernatural powers, along with a magical fish hook that allows him to change into any sort of animal, mainly a hawk. When he loses it, he no longer has the power to transform and ends up stranded on an island for a millenia. Moana finds him, then drags him along to help her save her people with the promise of helping him find his fish hook.

  Heihei, Moana’s pet rooster, is played by Alan Tudyk. He is quite possibly one of the dumbest characters Disney has created, but he is redeemed by his ability to make viewers laugh out loud. His constant confusion and crazy antics make him one of the strangest and most memorable animal sidekicks for a Disney movie.

  A long time fan of everything Disney, I waited for weeks in anticipation for Moana to finally come to theaters, and I was not disappointed. Moana isn’t a typical princess and Maui isn’t a typical “hero,” in fact, nothing about the movie is “typical.” It goes above and beyond in every way, but my absolute favorite part was the Kakamora. The little weapon wielding coconuts are scary in a humorous way, and like Moana said, are actually kind of cute. Moana is targeted mainly for kids five and older, but I would recommend this movie to everyone, young and old. Teenagers who enjoyed Frozen would love Moana just as much, if not more. I would give this movie four and a half stars.