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City College Times

Movie Review: Moana is perfect holiday fun

DARYL VON DUNKER, TIMES STAFF

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Disney, you are welcomed

Imagine an eight year old telling you what to
do … then imagine you are a demigod, throw
in humor and song, and voila – you have classic
Disney feature guaranteed to please families and
friends alike.
Moana, an animated-adventure film, produced
by Walt Disney Pictures, released the
day before Thanksgiving, is the five-year culmination
of research into Polynesian culture.
The animation is certainly the best we’ve
ever seen Disney present with individual
hair movement, rich Polynesian color pallets
and both fire and water 3D FXs. The
only Disney Animated Studio movie to
come close is Dinosaur and Pixar-creations.
According to Forbes Moana | Tops Black
Friday and smashes right between Frozen
and Tangled hall of fame with 82 million.
The A-list Polynesian cast adds deep vocal
textures, rhythms and mythos enhancements
few others could master: Auli’i Cravalho
– Moana, Dwayne Johnson – Maui, Rachel
House – Gramma Tala, Temuera Morrison
– Chief Tui, Nicole Scherzinger – mother Sina,
as well as, Jemaine Clement – crab Tamatoa
and Alan Tudyk – rooster Heihei. For most of
the cast, it was the first time meeting and many
tears were shed outside sound booth doors.
The story begins when the Ocean itself choses
a tiny baby from an island village to interact
with. As Moana grows, she constantly
returns to the water’s edge to play and try and
sneak in. While her father and mother discourage
her, her Gramma Tala shares ocean
stories and teases her about her curiosity.
At the tender age of eight, as Moana steps
into her place as the next chief, plants begin
to die and the fish disappear. Suddenly
Moana is faced with life or death decisions.
On a lonely night, her grandmother seeks her
out and shares the greatest story of all. Their
people were never from the Island – they were
voyagers from far away. Gifted with the special
tasks of finding the demigod Maui and returning
the heart of Te Fiti, Moana flounders between
what she should do and what she must do.
Then tragedy strikes, her grandmother dies,
yet her glowing animal spirit – a great manta
ray – streaks out across the ocean and reveals
how to pass through the island reef…
With sold out theaters across the Silicon Valley,
this movie is well worth your time and a perfect
way to de-stress during final exams. I give it 10 stars.

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The Voice of San Jose City College since 1956
Movie Review: Moana is perfect holiday fun