Moana Blu-ray Review
Kidzworld checked out all the cool extras on the new Blu-ray for Moana. Will these additions add to your enjoyment of an already great animated film? Check our Blu-ray review.
By: Lynn Barker
Teen Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho), a Polynesian chief’s daughter, is drawn to the sea with a passion yet her dad warns her to stay on their island. “Out there” beyond the reef is too dangerous. When food sources on the island fail, Moana finally has her excuse to travel beyond the reef to adventure and to fulfill an ancient prophecy.
Beyond the Sea
Island chief’s teen daughter Moana is forbidden by her dad to set sail to open sea. He did so as a youth only to lose a friend. Her grandmother (voice of Rachel House) adores the ocean and tells her the tale of Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), a shape-shifting demi-God who once stole the heart of powerful island goddess Te Fiti then disappeared. The heart is lost at sea.
Call to Action
When food sources on the island fail, the sea gives Moana the goddess’s “heart” now in the form of a stone. She must find Maui and, with him, return it to the island of the goddess for all to be well with her people. Moana’s ancestors were great ocean navigators, crossing huge distances to discover island after island. That skill has been lost. Moana has been chosen by the sea to save the islands and rekindle the lost skills of the ancestors.
Moana sails beyond the reef, overcomes many challenges and finds Maui who seems to have lost his power. With the sea aiding her, she is able to take the reluctant Maui on her quest to return the heart to goddess Te Fiti. Will they be successful?
Special Extra Features
The Moana Blu-ray/DVD set is loaded with them. The film’s beyond gorgeous color and sharp picture and sound are alive and well in home entertainment form.
- 2 Short Films – One was shown with the movie in theaters, another is new. We have Gone Fishing which presents Moana and Maui in a creative fishing contest – cute! There is Inner Workings featuring a hard-work and no play young man who has to learn to listen to his heart in order to live a full life. Love it!
- Voice of the Islands presents the filmmakers showing us how they were determined to pay correct homage to the Polynesian island culture in a new film. They traveled to many islands and researched everyday island life, music, food, art, history and much more, including casting mostly islanders as voice actors, Dwayne Johnson (whose mom is Samoan) and Hawaiian Auli’i Cravalho are leads. Very beautiful and interesting feature.
- Things You Didn’t Know About… gives us voice actors and musical composers, including Lin-Manuel Miranda of Broadway’s “Hamilton” fame, answering various fun questions about food, habits, fears. Etc. Entertaining.
- Island Fashion presents a young designer showing us how she approached designing costumes for the characters when they lived 3,000 years ago and there were of course no photo references. The use of plants, flowers, weaving etc. are explained and we see how Moana’s special necklace was designed. Really fun especially if you are into fashion!
- The Elements Of shows us how animators worked hard to create Mini-Maui, the little tattooed figure that “lives” on big Maui, how they paid special attention to animating the sea to make it come alive as a character, how the big lava demon was created and rendered and how the hair of Polynesian people took extra care to get just right. Interesting.
- They Know the Way: Making the Music of Moana features the composers of the music and songs in the film, three very different gentlemen from different cultures and places who worked to blend their talents into the unique and beautiful songs in the movie. Dwayne and Auli’i are shown recording a bit. Lin-Manuel Miranda won a Polynesian dance contest! Fun
- Deleted song: Warrior Face – Lin introduces a song he wrote that had to be cut from the film.. great song.
- Fishing for Easter Eggs shows us a few little hidden surprises tying to other Disney films that are peppered through the movie.
- There are at least ten Deleted Scenes introduced by the directors and seen in early storyboard form. Many are quite good, sweet and nice to see to flesh out the movie experience.
- Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go” is very pretty to look at although I prefer Auil’i’s version of the song to Alessia Cara’s.
- “How Far I’ll Go” Around the World gives us the song in the movie but in snippets of many, many languages. Impressive!
- Audio Commentary by Directors John Musker and Ron Clements includes some of what we’ve seen in the extras but more about project origins, style, research etc. and a few secret tid-bits. Worth a listen.
Moana is a wonderful film; beautiful to look at with powerful music and voice performances and a great message of female empowerment. You really want this one in your collection. Extras are the usual thorough Disney list but unique to this very “different” film. You can’t go wrong collecting or gifting this one. We go five stars.
Moana Blu-ray Rating:
Moana is in stores March 7th!
Have Your Say
Are you anxious to take Moana home? Are you interested in the Polynesian culture. Comment below.