Reel Scenes: Moana, A Disney Movie

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The animated film, “Moana”, was full of family fun. I wanted to take my wife and 5-year-old grandson because one of the lead characters, Maui (voice by Dwayne Johnson), reminded me a lot of my wife’s 320-pound nephew who played offensive line for the University of Colorado Buffalos. The tattoos even had similarities.

The creative cartoon is entertaining for kids and adults alike. There is great animation in the film. I marvel at how far we have come from Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner!

Thematically, the movie was about a young woman becoming independent, how sacrifice is required in life, and the challenges it presents. A young girl, Moana, is called by destiny to save her family and her South Sea home from environmental destruction caused by the theft of a sacred stone. For those who worship the environment, they will like the movie because it is about saving Mother Earth from a mystical ecological catastrophe.

Moana is encouraged by her grandmother to accept her calling, to sail away from her home island on a quest to find the mischievous Maui, who stole the stone. She must return it to its rightful place to set the world back in order. Her leaving on the perilous journey was done over the objections of her father.

moana-01-800Maui, the other main character is a demigod, an egotistical oversized adolescent, whose parents were deities, with supernatural powers that come from a large fishhook. Although there were many New Age themes presented, I saw several Christian ideas, which makes me think the screenplay writers may have grown up in the church but fell away after they moved to Oregon!

Anyway, towards the end of the movie, there was a parting of the sea (not the Red one), borrowed from the Bible. Also the fishhook, which gave Maui his power, was a symbol of the Holy Spirit that empowers us when we really decide to become “fishers of men.”  Later in the movie, there was a time of repentance and confession from Maui, which came when he transformed from the selfish, to a sacrificial hero.

It was a fun, and funny, movie. There was also a goofy bird, I believe the name was “Hey-Hey”, who added nothing but humor to the story.  Young and old viewers alike enjoyed the little foolish fowl.

I think parents (or grandparents) should take their daughters for a fun-filled film. It could lead into some thoughtful discussions about her future goals, dreams, and how important it is to take meaningful risks for the family or community. Our heroine also did not have to have a boyfriend in the script to make her whole, which I found very refreshing. When we go out in in the world, we really have to go it alone, but with the support of family, friends and church, we too can help save the day!