Moana ★★★★½

There's real magic in watching Moana take this journey, in seeing an explorer make first contact with an optimistic destiny. The first two songs, Where We Are and How Far I'll Go make for an interesting clash; developing Moana's conflict in song form with cleverness and efficiency. Miranda's rhyming of "water" and "daughter" pays dividends, as we see this wonderfully front-loaded tale find it's feet early. Well-executed simplicity is hard to come by, and that's why Moana is so good. Despite the ABC's narrative, there's real depth found in almost everything involved. Every single step serves a valuable function to the story, every moment feels genuine. It's hard to rave about films like Moana because everything that makes it so remarkable is also so subdued. It's not a grand science fiction spectacle or a complex thriller; it's just another wonderful step in the evolution of the tried and true Disney formula.

Jared liked these reviews