MOANA – Rated PG

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MOANA – Rated PG – 103 minutes

Starring the voices of Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, and Temuera Morrison

Amidst an island in the south pacific, we meet Chief Tui (Temuera Morrison) and his beautiful daughter, Princess Moana (Auli’l Cravalho). As Moana learns the ways of her heritage, all she can think about is her longing for the sea, even though her father forbids her from ever leaving the island. When Gramma Tala (Rachel House), shares the secrets of Moana’s ancestors with her, Moana knows exactly what she must do to save her people, and fulfill her Destiny

I give MOANA a rating between MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and WAIT AND CATCH THIS FILM ON DVD: In true Disney fashion, we get another strong willed female this time around, trying to fulfill her destiny. And this time she has a sidekick of “epic proportions” ~ the demi-God Maui (Dwayne Johnson), and what girl can’t make it if he’s by her side! The storyline is wonderfully realistic and enchanting, plus the animation reminded me of previous Disney classics like Lilo and Stitch and Hercules throughout. I also really enjoyed the wisdom and strength of the grandmother figure this time around too! So why the in-between review? Even though I enjoyed the storyline, and the characters very much, a lot of this film seemed to move rather slowly for the younger viewers surrounding me. My 16 year old loved this new film, but my 6-year-old niece wasn’t too enchanted by it apparently. She nodded off half way through the movie, and other youngsters around us followed right along with her.   I think in Disney’s defense, they always try to incorporate adult content and themes throughout all their animated films, and Moana is no exception, which was great for me and my teenage daughter, but it really doesn’t hold up for the younger viewers either in the action department, or the storyline content either. Which leads me to suggest, if your family has lots of little ones, you may want to wait and purchase the DVD and view this film in the comfort of your own home. But, if your family is filled with older youngsters, teenagers and adults, then by all means head out the theater this Thanksgiving weekend and enjoy MOANA and her tale on the Big Screen.

Kathy Kaiser