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News Moana Review Roundup

News Bot Nov 8, 2016

  1. News Bot

    News Bot Chaos Immortal

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    We're still a few weeks away from Disney's Moana hitting theaters, but critics have already started to deliver their verdicts.

    Moana follows Moana Waialiki as she sets off to save her family. Along the way, she meets the demigod Maui, who helps her on her journey. It stars Auli'i Cravalho as Moana in her debut role, as well as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Fast & Furious 7) as Maui. You can watch the trailer here or in the embed above.

    We've collected a handful of review scores and editor opinions and compiled them below. For a wider view of the critical reception, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

    • Film: Moana
    • Director: John Musker, Ron Clements
    • Distributor: Disney
    • Release Date: November 23
    • Rating: PG
    [​IMG]
    Entertainment Weekly -- A-


    "Moana has a lot of the hallmarks of your classic Disney adventure--the goofy animal sidekicks, the feel-good messages--but its heroine is something new, a smart and fiery deviation from your standard European lovestruck princesses. (Thankfully, Moana doesn't have a love interest.) The result is a pitch-perfect addition to the animated Disney canon." -- Devan Coggan [full review]

    The Hollywood Reporter


    "Appealing equally to the eyes, ears, heart, and funny bone, Moana represents contemporary Disney at its finest--a vibrantly rendered adventure that combines state-of-the-art CG animation with traditional storytelling and colorful characters, all enlivened by a terrific voice cast." -- Michael Rechtshaffen [full review]

    Variety


    "[T]hese encounters give the quest-like storyline an episodic feel, and yet the dynamic between Moana and Maui deepens as the story unfolds, revealing her to be one of Disney’s most remarkable heroines yet: Rather than waiting for her prince (or whomever) to come, Moana takes control of her own destiny. ... As princess movies go, this one broadens the studio's horizons, and as Moana herself sings in the film, 'No one knows, how far it goes.'" -- Peter Debruge [full review]

    Empire -- 4/5


    "There's the odd dull stretch and dud line: 'When you have a bird to write with, it's called tweeting,' is unlikely to age well. It turns out, though, that Polynesian mythology and the House of Mouse go together very well indeed. Between Moana and Zootopia, it's been a banner year for Disney Animation. Pixar, watch your back." -- Nick De Semlyen [full review]

    IndieWire -- B


    "Notably, Moana bears no resemblance to the 1925 silent film directed by pioneering documentarian Robert Flaherty just a few years after Nanook of the North. In Flaherty's Moana, the filmmaker staged ancient Polynesian rituals as if they were taking place in the present moment; despite the film's lyrical beauty, it suffers from a corruptive Western gaze. [Disney's] Moana works overtime to keep that damaging force out of the picture, and like its individualistic young heroine, the studio shows signs of growing up." -- Eric Kohn [full review]

    The Guardian -- 3/5


    "Moana's 'know who you are' message is the sort of thing we'd probably want our children to hear, and there's a pleasing resonance in the way the movie transmits ancient folk knowledge via digital means. But Disney has set a high standard lately. Frozen defied its fairytale template by swerving into matters of sisterhood, Big Hero 6 pulled off a clever trans-Pacific cultural fusion, and this year's excellent Zootopia was both a snappy, original comedy and a valuable primer in identity politics. Moana never quite reaches these heights. Its cultural setting is fresh; its storytelling, less so. It navigates the reefs but it doesn't discover a whole new world." -- Steve Rose [full review]

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