High Five: The Podcast’s review published on Letterboxd :
Top 5 Things About Moana:
1. The Animation - It should come as no surprise that Disney Animation Studio, the half-twin-brother of Pixar, makes gorgeous movies. Moana takes it a step up with their focus on island landscapes and their beautiful rendering of water. It's a visual feast.
2. The Family Dynamic - Let's all take a moment to pause and relish in the fact that Disney not only made a movie where the main princess' parents are BOTH STILL ALIVE (and stay that way), but also that they wrote parents that are multi-dimensional and not used simply as hurdles for the main, scrappy teenager to circumvent. Well played, Disney.
3. The Music - At High Five: the Podcast, we are big fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda. We're also big fans of catchy, good music. Put those two together and what do you get? You get a Disney musical that you'll be humming long after it's over. The songs all have unique feels, but also give you feels. Also, who knew that The Rock could sing!?
4. The Tattoos - Disney films are known for their quirky, sarcastic side characters (think Sven from Frozen and Pascal in Tangled). Moana steps up their game by adding in multiple humorous side characters, but easily the best are Maui's living tattoos that are the embodiment of his conscience. They gave us some of our biggest laughs in the whole film.
5. The Final Boss - It's always nice to see a tortured villain with some depth [pun(s) intended]. Tamatoa fits that bill for Moana. Without spoiling anything, the end is both fitting for the film, but moving in a surprising way.