That darn SHINY song.
Why? WHY did they make that song?!
In the middle of our first viewing I turned to my husband and asked “So, did David Bowie do this song before he died, or did they bring him back specifically to write it?” Because seriously, that song is full-on, Labyrinth-swamp-scene-headless-bird-weirdness. And it won’t get out of your head. Ever. We keep pulling Marshall Eriksons around the house, singing what we would actually speak to our son with the word “shiny” at the end of the sentence.
Phew, now that I got that off of my chest, I can say that I finally saw Moana….and I love it. (Other than the aforementioned song.) I love it because…
- The music is addicting; even the background, non-lyrics soundtrack.
- The Rock can sing, which is cool and actually quite nice to listen to. (Still figuring out how he fit that many tongue-tying syllables into that short of a time, because I’m going to learn it, dangit! #MusicMajorProblems)
- The animation is phenomenal. I even noticed the torches people were carrying around, the second time I watched it, and it looks like real fire.
- I plan on being the kind of grandmother Moana’s Granny is.
- The chicken ends up being the sidekick, even though he’s almost useless and they make you think it’s gonna be the smart pig.
- Mythology. I don’t know how accurate Disney kept it, but I have a long love of all sorts of mythology dating back into my elementary school days.
But most importantly, I love how there are two main themes in Moana, and even though they are somewhat opposing, they work together so well.
Theme one: “You can find happiness right where you are.”
They may have gotten the point across in the main crowd-scene song, but it looks like it takes all of Moana’s growing-up years to finally convince her of this. She has a longing for more, but she also understands the important role she has to play for her people. So, she puts aside her personal desires in order for the greater good.
Even with knowing her grandmother would support her, it takes her island starting to die to take her away from her duty in leading her people.
Theme two: You usually know your calling deep inside yourself, but it might take a LOT of outside prompting to discover and accept it.
You might be saying “Theme two doesn’t oppose theme one.” And you’d be right…. kind of.
In light of that Moana’s calling is to leave her people and complete a mission larger than her or her duty to her people, then yes, these two themes completely oppose each other in Moana’s case. She has the duty to fulfill the mission the Ocean has given her, and she has a duty to taking care of her people.
And in the end, she manages to do both: Moana completes her mission, by which her people are saved (I’m guessing, since the lava monster isn’t spoiling the sea and islands anymore), she returns to lead them (symbolized by conch shell on the stack of leadership stones[way to go to ruin the stack for your descendants, Moana!]), and helps her people return to their tradition and calling of being voyagers.
I seriously love this girl. True to her family, true to her people, true to her calling. And sassy as all get out.
I also have to say that I love Moana’s mother. She has such a small part, but it’s so important. When she realizes Moana is leaving, finally answering the call to leave the island, she doesn’t stop her. But more importantly, she helps her daughter pack. She cries as her daughter leaves, she obviously worries once her daughter is gone, but she realizes her daughter is grown and must do what she thinks is best as her people’s leader.
And that’s my stormy night brain dump, as I’m staying up, just waiting to see if any of these tornado watches turn into warnings-yay! Pray for safety in the southeast, it’s nasty over here.
Did you like Moana? Did you despise Shiny, or actually like the disco moment? Have you also been listening to the songs on repeat in your car? Let me know!