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Colt Chronicle

“Moana” a refreshing addition to the Disney Princess line-up

Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios

Ramishah Maruf, Editor-in-Chief

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     Despite the turbulent events of this past year, one thing can unanimously be agreed on: 2016 was one of the best years for animation in recent history.

     Disney’s “Zootopia” released a poignant socio-political critique whilst maintaining its usual jovial, kid-friendly atmosphere. “Kubo and the Strings” was one of the most visually appealing films of the year. “Finding Dory” was anticipated for years by both children and adults.

     It’s only fitting that one of the last animated films of 2016 be one of the best yet. Disney’s “Moana”’ fit that bill.

     Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) is the daughter of a village chief in Polynesia. Strong and rebellious, she had been chosen by the ocean to receive a special stone. However, she must team up with demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) and reunite the stone with its rightful goddess before her island is depleted of all its natural resources.

     “Moana” does an excellent job of breaking away from typical Disney stereotypes. Although Moana is a princess, she repulses at being called one. She has tan skin and possesses a realistic body type. She openly rebels against her community, and achieves it all without a prince.

     However, the feel-good plot is a bit too predictable, down to the dim-witted animal sidekick Heihei (Alan Tudyk), a chicken described by director Ron Clements as being, “the dumbest character in the history of Disney animation.”

     One of Moana’s greatest assets was its soundtrack, with some destined to become the next “Let it Go.” Composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of Broadway play “Hamilton”), the soundtrack masterfully combines traditional Polynesian music with hip-hop, Miranda’s specialty.

     A perfect start to the holiday season, “Moana” will succeed in empowering children, particularly girls, while maintaining the carefree, magical atmosphere Disney is famous for.

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“Moana” a refreshing addition to the Disney Princess line-up