by Justin Johnson

moana-1Moana opens on the fictional island of Motunui and is the setting for the latest installment in the Disney Princess franchise.  Hey, having ventured to the frozen North, why not give us a tropical adventure!  Our heroine Moana must defy her father’s rules to discover her hidden talents and ultimately her place as ruler of her people.   Along for the ride are a memorable cast including Maui the demigod with magical tattoos and Hei Hei the dim witted chicken.  Together they will embark on a forbidden journey across a perilous sea to restore the heart of creation. moana-chicken

Drawing heavily on pacific island folklore, Moana delivers another Disney classic just in time for the holidays.  A family friendly adventure that is sure to please kids and adults alike.   While this movie delivers many of the classic elements that make Disney movies memorable, one key ingredient seemed to be lacking, the memorable songs.  I could be mistaken, but I don’t foresee countless kids singing How Far I’ll Go the same way as they did Let It Go… Music aside, the story is enjoyable and the Moana is sure to take her rightful place alongside other memorable Disney Princesses.

moana-2While my daughter loved this Disney movie as much as any other, I did not find it as appealing and loveable.  Perhaps it was the lacking villain but I did not find myself as drawn in as other Disney movies.  My small reservation aside, rest assured, Moana will be a worthwhile outing with your family this holiday. Amidst the island folklore of creation and some rebellious moments is a real gem of a scene where Maui asks forgiveness.  Modeling accountability and remorse, this scene really stands out for its blatant honesty and confession.  A great opportunity to discuss confession, accountability and grace with your children!

5 out of 7Rated PG for mild peril and a few scary sequences, Moana makes a worthwhile family outing this Holiday.