Moana Parent Guide
As in previous visits to the Disney café, this South Seas adventure dishes out the expected feel-good fare.
Parent Movie Review
Do you ever find yourself ordering the same menu item each time you go to your favorite restaurant? There just seems to be something comforting in knowing you won’t be disappointed with your choice. The same thing appears to be true with Disney’s animation department. They know if they stick to the tried and true recipe, they can bank on predictable results.
In this South Sea adventure (Lilo & Stitch was set in Hawaii), Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) is the daughter of a chief (voice of Temuera Morrison) who is having trouble following the path her father has in mind for her life (the same situation is presented in Pocahontas). While he wants her to stay safely on land and lead the villagers, her heart is drawn to the water. But when a devastating darkness creeps across their island causing the fish to flee and plaguing the food supply, the teenaged girl knows something drastic must be done.
That’s when Moana’s grandmother (voice of Rachel House, aka Grandmother Willow) reminds her of an experience from her early cherubic childhood (the younger Moana looks a lot like Molly from Toy Story 3). On that special day, the ocean parted and presented the toddler with a glimmering green stone. Grandma now explains that the gem is the “heart of Te Fiti” – the goddess of creation. After it was stolen from her by a muscle-bound demigod named Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) a dark curse fell across all the islands of the sea. The only way to stop it from spreading is by finding Maui and convincing him to return the heart to Te Fiti. So, despite parental protests, that is exactly what Moana sets sail to do.
Continuing with similarities, this script promotes female empowerment as did Frozen. This time the strong-willed female protagonist not only doesn’t need a man to accomplish her mission, she will also figure out how to do it without much assistance from the demi-god.
Thankfully, consistent with most Disney movies, there are some positive messages within this script. Moana shows great courage and self-sacrifice during her quest to save her people (far worthier motives than The Little Mermaid appeared to have). And she provides the call of conscience to the egotistical Maui. In addition, there is great interplay between these two characters that might just parallel real life. The young upstart Cravalho puts Johnson’s seasoned macho charisma to the test—both on screen and behind the microphone as the Hawaiian teen delivers a performance far beyond her experience.
Parents should be aware that some scary monsters and moments of peril may be concerns when considering bringing their young children to this paradise. Yet, as in previous visits to the Disney café, this one dishes out the expected feel-good fare. Garnished with beautiful visuals and fun music, it’s a safe bet Moana will be a top pick for families during the 2016 holiday season.Directed by Ron Clements, John Musker . Starring Auli'i Carvalho, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk, Jemaine Clement. Running time: 103 minutes. Theatrical release November 23, 2016. Updated July 4, 2019
Watch the trailer for Moana
Rating & Content Info
Why is Moana rated PG? Moana is rated PG by the MPAA for peril, some scary images and brief thematic elements.
Violence: Characters face perilous situations on the sea: They are occasionally knocked overboard, shipwrecked and abandoned, as well as face turbulent weather. Weapon use (spears and poisonous darts) and hand-to hand conflict are depicted during a battle with pirates. Characters fight gods and monsters that spurt lava, throws fire balls, threaten to eat them and regrow severed limbs.Some of these images may be frightening for young children.
Sexual Content: Characters wear traditional dress: grass skirts, bare chested men and bare shouldered women. A female child is seen in just a diaper.
Profanity: Some name-calling occurs.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Poisonous darts cause characters to fall asleep.
Other: Frequent depictions of mythological characters and philosophy.
Page last updated July 4, 2019
Moana Parents' Guide
The navigational skills of South Seas voyagers have presented a puzzle for archeologists and anthropologists. Here are some theories about the amazing art of wayfinding.
News About "Moana"
Releasing with this movie is a short animation called Inner Workings.
From the Studio:
In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore. - Walt Disney Motion Pictures
The most recent home video release of Moana movie is March 7, 2017. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Moana
Release Date: 7 March 2017
Moana releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy or Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy ) with the following extras:
- Theatrical Short Film: “Inner Workings” – With introduction by the filmmakers, is the story of the internal struggle between a man’s pragmatic, logical side and his free-spirited, adventurous half. Created by a small team at Walt Disney Animation Studios in a unique, fast-paced style that blends CG and traditional hand-drawn animation, the short explores the importance of finding balance in daily life.
- Maui Mini-Movie: “Gone Fishing” – When Maui decides it’s time to take charge of the ocean and catch his next meal, Moana must show him the error of his ways … with a little help from her friends!
- Voice of the Islands – An in-depth look at how Pacific Island people and cultures inspired the filmmakers to create the story of “Moana.”
- Things You Didn’t Know About … Meet the stars of “Moana” in this dynamic Q&A featuring Dwayne Johnson, newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, and famed animation directors Ron and John. Meet the musical team behind “Moana” in this fascinating Q&A featuring Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
- Island Fashion – Find out how costume designer Neysa Bové took on the unique challenge of creating costumes using materials and techniques native to the islands of Oceania.
- They Know the Way: Making the Music of “Moana” – Musicians Opetaia Foa’I, Marc Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda take us on a personal journey through their involvement in the movie and how it changed their lives.
- Fishing for Easter Eggs – Dive deep into the ocean and fish for the Easter Eggs hidden by the animators at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
- The Elements of … – This series of four mini-docs explores the technical achievements behind some of the ground-breaking effects used in the film.
- Deleted Song: “Warrior Face” – With introduction by songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda.
- Deleted Scenes – Ron and John introduce the following deleted scenes: Race the Wind/Ties that Bind; Discussing Moana’s Future; Under the Sea; Grandmother’s Warning/Legend of Maui; Education of Moana; Father, Daughter, Boat; and Canoe Race.
- Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go” – Performed by Alessia Cara.
- “How Far I’ll Go Around the World” – Multi-language reel of the song “How Far I’ll Go.”
- Audio Commentary – With directors Ron and John.