We have a family tradition of going to the movies on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Looks like Black Friday is trying to infringe on my Thanksgiving time. No gracias, Black Friday. I’ve been wanting to take my girls to see Disney’s MOANA since I heard it announced. Then I thought, well, we’ll be on a Disney Cruise a few days after Thanksgiving, and they’ll be showing it on board. MOANA + At Sea = Perfection, right?
Well my daughters want to see it before we leave. Tradition, they say! I’m excited for it, too, so I snuck out for a little sneak peek to preview Moana before I take the family. Woah, so amazing! Now, I love my turkey dinner, but I’m going to give you 5 reasons MOANA is better than turkey.
THE PACIFIC ISLAND SETTING
Moana is the story of an adventurous girl who sets sail on a daring mission to save her people. Her adventures take place on the ocean and Pacific Islands. Now I know some parts of the country are warm, but where I live, winter has come. It’s freezing. This CGI-animated film made everything incredibly real. A lot of research went into the study of the islands, and I felt as if I was in paradise (minus a scene or two). Paradise is warm; I like warm. The animation truly was beautiful. It felt better than a piece of turkey getting colder while waiting for everyone to gather at the table.
Now that is one funny, crazy bird. Sure turkey may taste delicious, but that joy is temporary. Heihei, a stowaway rooster, will make you laugh out loud, and the memories last forever. The characters are great in Moana, and many offer hilarious moments. Laughter is good for the soul. Plus save a turkey, and watch Heihei on the big screen. Don’t forget to get your free coloring pages here which includes Heiei.
GRAMMA TALA IS WISE
Gramma Tala, the mother of Chief Tui (Moana’s father) and Moana’s greatest confidante, is a wise woman. The kind of spunky, albeit a little eccentric, Gramma you wish you had, and if you already have that type, you cherish her. She’s the one who tells Moana, “You may hear a voice inside. And if that voice starts to whisper to follow the farthest star … that voice inside you, is who you are.” Moana is conflicted, because in order to save her people, she has to disobey her father. Gramma Tala and Moana have a special connection and are both free spirits. So you don’t want a lecture from family members who aren’t so wise at the Thanksgiving table? Go chill with Gramma Tala instead.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was part of the team that wrote and composed songs for Moana. Enough said. That man’s a musical genius, but so are many Disney composers and writers. There are many Disney soundtracks that have helped me through different stages of life. Songs from The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Aladdin, Mary Poppins, and Beauty and the Beast have all influenced my life. Whether it be as a child, teenager, wife, or mother, each song and its lyrics have inspired me or helped me through a sad time. I have been encouraged, rejuvenated, consoled, and uplifted through music. The songs in this film will have that same impact on those who hear it. The cultural authenticity is great, too, as they included Opetaia Foa‘i, a leader in Pacific music, as part of the musical dream team. Turkeys are not going to create sweet music at the dinner table, but you humming the songs from Moana will impress the guests.
ALL THE MOANA GIRL POWER
Forget politics this Thanksgiving and talk empowerment. Moana is a heroine. A girl who finds herself and her way in her journey. Was Princess Leia the first self-rescuing princess? I don’t know, but I’m liking this trend Disney is going with for strong, female leads. As the mother of 5 girls, it’s important to me that they are learning about different cultures and that they have good role models. Role models don’t have to be perfect. Moana makes mistakes, and this is one reason why I love her character so much. This is one princess you’ll want your daughters – and sons- to see.
So if you really must have that turkey this Thanksgiving, never fear, MOANA is in theaters now! Plenty of time to see it before or after you get your grub on. Just make sure you see it. You may find your way.
Check out some behind the scenes fun below!