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Moana is an excellent film about finding who you really are inside

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DISNEY recently came out with its new film: Moana. It begins with a legend of how the heart of a life-giving Goddess, Te Fiti, was stolen by the demigod Maui. This action that caused darkness to spread across the land. Out of this darkness, demons rose to steal the heart from Maui, the strongest being the lava demon Te Ka.

Te Ka fought and defeated Maui, sending him far away to be lost for a thousand years. Alas, the heart, and Maui’s magic hook, were swallowed by the sea.

In order to revitalize the island and vanquish the darkness spreading across the land, the heart needed to be restored. To do so, a chosen one must find Maui and force him to bring the heart back to Te Fiti. Moana, from Motunui, was elected by the ocean to complete this quest and save the world.

On her quest, she faces several horrors, including coconut pirates called Kakamora, a giant crab named Tamota who lives in the realm of monsters, and the lava demon named Te Ka.

She does this with the aid of Maui, who she convinces to go with her to restore the heart and the ocean. This adventure, for Moana, was about finding the heart and saving her people, of course, but it was also about finding out who she was.

In the beginning, she was lost. She was confused and looked to others, especially her grandmother, for guidance. She ardently desired to sail on the ocean, but she knew that she had to stay on the island, so she tamped those feelings down and didn’t follow her heart.

By the end, though, she was the one telling others to follow their hearts and be who they are. This shows an incredible character arc. Throughout the movie, she waited for others to help her do what needed to be done. She relied heavily on the ocean or on Maui and only stepped in when it is almost too late and they have yet to help.

As the tale goes on, though, she finds more confidence in herself. She is fierce and takes action. She realizes that the power to save the world was in her all along.

This self-realization was beautiful to watch, and it is great that Moana will most likely the next Disney princess. She will make an excellent addition to the list of contemporary princesses, who are all as independent as she is. Even though she claims that she is “not a princess” in the movie, she is a great role model for kids, and that’s what it really means to be a princess in the modern era.

Luckily, this probably isn’t the last we’ve seen of Moana’s characters. Disney loves to throw old, beloved characters into new films. In fact, there were quite a few characters from other films in Moana.

The most elusive of all the Easter eggs, or nods to other films, in Moana was the cameo of Olaf. It doesn’t seem to make sense that someone as frozen as Olaf would make it into this sunny film, but he’s in there, as confirmed by the directors.

Other characters were hidden as well, such as Baymax, who was hidden as one of the Kakamora, Maui, who transformed into Sven after getting his hook back from Tamatoa, and Flounder, who was spotted floating in the water during Maui’s song “You’re Welcome”.

The whole soundtrack, including that song, is phenomenal. It was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote both Hamilton: An American Musical and In the Heights, Mark Mancina, who helped compose The Lion King, and Opetaia Foa’i.

Something that was also breath-taking about the movie was its visuals. The artwork was amazing. Actually, Maui’s tattoos were completely hand-drawn, a technique that hasn’t been done since Winnie the Pooh in 2011.

Although they branched out with this new tactic, they also didn’t stray far from other traditions. Alan Tudyk, who has voiced a character in every Disney film since Wreck-it-Ralph, made a reappearance as Hei Hei, a very vacuous chicken who follows Moana on her quest.

Another thing that made this show really special was the short at the beginning. It was a brilliantly done piece about, again, following one’s heart. Of course, the short at the end of the credits, featuring Tamatoa, was great, too. Everything about this movie was truly magical.

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Moana is an excellent film about finding who you really are inside