This is why "Moana" is the Disney movie you've been waiting for
Writer: Casey Chong
Moana (voiced by Auli'i Cravalho) and Maui (Dwayne Johnson) in "Moana".
For all the popularity that made Disney's "Frozen" a beloved animated classic for the modern generation since its release three years ago, there is now a brand new Disney movie that is set to become a much-talked about cinematic sensation for this end-of-the-year holiday season.
1. Racial diversity
Titled "Moana", the upcoming movie tells a story about a young Polynesian woman (voiced by Auli'i Cravalho) who sets sail on an adventurous quest in search of a mythical island with the help of the demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson).
As we await the release of "Moana" this 24 November, here are our five reasons why you should get excited about this soon-to-be-classic Disney movie!
For once, it's a refreshing change of pace to see a Disney princess that isn't traditionally white. In "Moana", the movie features Disney's first Polynesian princess played by 14-year-old Hawaiian newcomer Auli'i Cravalho. Of course, this is not the first time that Disney has subverted the usual expectations of their princess role. Back in 2009, Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) made history as Disney's first African-American princess in "The Princess And The Frog".
2. Ron Clements and John Musker
You got to give credit to Ron Clements and John Musker for directing some of the best Disney movies ever made in the past. That includes "The Little Mermaid" (1989) and "Aladdin" (1992). Even their underrated effort seen in "Hercules" (1997) and "Treasure Planet" (2002) are actually worth watching. And yes, they are also the same directing duo who made "The Princess And The Frog". Given their near-consistent filmography, it's safe to say that Ron Clements and John Musker's latest collaborative effort in "Moana" is going to please both critics and audiences. As a matter of fact, the movie has already received universal reviews so far by many US critics during the advanced screening.
3. Moana is no damsel in distress
Over the last few years, Disney has brilliantly shifted their focus from the studio's usual offering of the stereotypical "damsel-in-distress" princess with strong female leads. This can be seen in their recent movies like "Tangled" and "Frozen". With "Moana", the studio continues to embrace their newfound tradition by making Moana as a tough yet fiercely independent Polynesian princess.
4. The soundtrack
No Disney movie would be complete without a selection of good music and songs. In "Moana", the studio enlisted Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Tony award winner and creator of the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton", as well as Opetaia Foa'i and veteran composer Mark Mancina ("Tarzan", "Con Air", "Twister" and "Speed") to team up for an eclectic mix of sing-a-long songs. Case in point is Lin-Manuel Miranda and Opetaia Foa'i "We Know The Way", which can be heard in "Moana's" teaser trailer.
5. Dwayne Johnson is the voice of Maui
Dwayne Johnson is on a roll these days. Apart from making headlines in "The Fast And The Furious" franchise, he proved to be a box-office draw in other hit movies like "San Andreas" and "Central Intelligence". Furthermore, it's nice to see him voicing an animated character for a change. And judging by the look of the trailers and previews so far, Johnson seems like the perfect fit to voice the role of the demi-god Maui.
"Moana" opens in cinemas nationwide on 24 November 2016.
Cinema Online, 20 November 2016