Film Reviews
Moana (Rated: PG)
Love Bridgnorth’s film reviewer Charlie Pugh gives us his take on the latest Disney offering – Moana – a sweeping CG-animated adventure about a spirited teenager. This appealing film is the prefect antidote to calming over-excited children in the run up to Christmas. Showing daily at Bridgnorth’s Majestic Cinema; T imes: Weekdays: 5:20pm Weekends: 12:10pm, 2:50pm and 5:40pm

In ancient Polynesia, a young chief’s daughter named Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) sails out on a daring mission to save her people from famine by seeking out the legendary demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson). Together they must sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage to return a lost treasure to a slumbering goddess, while encountering enormous monsters on the way.

Disney Animation Studio’s second film of the year Moana” goes back to a more traditional musical story in true Disney style and is quite possibly the most entertaining example for a long time. Despite a few issues of the usual cliches such as the over-protective parents and a heavy reliance on the theme of destiny, Moana does really kick off into a highly entertaining Harryhausen-inspired adventure.

The background animation of the islands and oceans that Moana and Maui encounter are breathtaking and the designs of several monsters such as goddess Te Ka, the giant David Bowie-inspired crab Tamatoa (Jemaine Clement) are superb – and the living hand-drawn tattoos on Maui’s body provide some of the biggest laughs as Maui argues with his disobedient tattoos.

The songs are amazing as well, with Lin-Manuel Miranda of “Hamilton” fame providing a wide variety of different musical numbers, such as a few Poylensein-inspired epics such as “We Know the Way”  and “How Far I’ll Go, a 70’s inspired disco sequence with “Shiny” and Dwayne Johnson finally getting a chance to sing with the joyful and colourful “You’re Welcome”.

Overall, it may not be particularly original but it ticks all the boxes by being an entertaining musical adventure with relatable characters, show-stopping numbers and beautiful animation.

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