Monday, December 05, 2016


Moana ~ The Bride is a theater rat, and it's one of the few things we don't share often. I find Broadway dreary and boring. Oh sure, there are quite a few songs, even a few shows that I dig - West Side Story and Jesus Christ Superstar come to mind, but that's really it. I slept through Starlight Express, Les Miz made me want to claw my eyes out, and Cats made me question my love of those fuzzy felines. I'm not a Broadway guy.

However, there's one show I really want to see, and yet The Bride refuses, touting her dislike of rap as the cause, and that's Hamilton. I love it and would pay top dollar to see it. Of the only five albums I purchased this year, two were the soundtrack to Hamilton and the Hamilton Mixtape. I'd hoped this would bridge the gap, but the only show I want to see is the only show she won't see.

Then came Moana.

We both share a love of Disney, so much so we do a semi-regular podcast about all things Disney called The Make Mine Magic Podcast (and keep an eye out there as we'll both be reviewing Moana on the 'cast sooner or later), so we were seeing their newest animated feature the first weekend it was out. Much to my delight, and her surprise, the film featured more than a few songs by Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda. That said, the music is amazing, and we both loved it – the soundtrack another purchase for 2016.

The film itself has its origins in the animator/directors researching Polynesian mythology and history (both of which Moana is a gateway drug to), from which Maui the demigod emerges. Played flawlessly by The Rock, Maui is a very different kind of Disney hero. He considers himself almost literally the gods' gift to mankind as his theme song, "You're Welcome," deliciously illustrates. Originally conceived as a tale of Maui, it soon transformed into a more traditional journey for a more traditional Disney princess, Moana. Together, though at first in conflict, they save her people's way of life.

The story is not so different, but the animation improves as it always does from flick to flick, but let's be real – the music is the real star here. Several songs are written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and even a couple sung by him. As a bonus for folks who buy the soundtrack, there are also demos of these tunes and even a couple outtakes of songs not used in the movie. I loved this film, I loved the soundtrack, and maybe now I might be able to talk The Bride into Hamilton. And Moana is highly recommended.


  1. Anonymous6:45 AM

    the first thing i noticed was, as someone mentioned on FB, moana is closer to realistic proportions. that was enjoyable. what bugged me was this: if the ocean was so easily able to pick her up and basically control her however it wanted, why couldn't it just put that stone back by itself? i know the god lava thing was damaged when it touched water, but i think water would have been able to accomplish it. i was told that it wasn't just the stone being put back but that moana had to be the one to do it. i don't recall that though. oh well.

    1. You're right, but I didn't have a problem with it. Most gods and forces of nature usually require that 'man' do these things to learn.