Gabe☆Danvers’s review published on Letterboxd :
When does a film have the power to bring tears to your eyes with a single shot?
I admire that Disney has been expanding the horizons with more versatile animated movies such as Wreck-It Ralph and Zootopia, but it's because of movies like Moana that I love Disney in the first place, and ultimately, why I love movies.
John Musker and Ron Clements always had something much more special over other animation directors. The way they play around with hand-drawn animation, the variety of the songs in their films... I was wondering how their unique touch would translate in this 3D era, where everything looks like it looks the same. Turns out, they're still one of a kind. Moana is one of the very few 3D animated movies that I wouldn't rather have in 2D. It's stunning, Clements and Musker use 3D animation to its full potential, a festival of colors, bright 3D paintings, manipulating shots, plans, backgrounds and layers in a way that only 3D animation allows.
And the music, oh Goddess... Deeply rooted in the polynesian culture portrayed, it's beautiful and epic in a way that no animation had accomplished since The Lion King, but also fairly contemporary, taking some musical notes from The Princess and the Frog. Also, Clements and Musker know how to use the songs like no one else; one thing that kinda bummers me in Frozen is the music being so damn powerful, yet the last song to be performed in the film is Fixer Upper. I always thought that it deserved to go out with something more personal, grander and deeper. In Moana the distribution of the songs is like a dream come true for a musical nit picker like me. When the last few songs come I was like "Yes YES THANK YOU!!"
Unfortunately I can't comment on the performances because I couldn't find ONE theater in the city that was showing Moana in the original audio, so I had to watch it with the portuguese dub - which, to my brazilian followers, is pretty meh. It's sad to see a work that was once so brilliant like the brazilian animation dubbing descend as low as it has in the last few years.
I have many things I want to say about Moana, but I'll watch it one more time - with the original audio - before I go deep in it.
But know that I have all the love in the world for this movie. Sorry for the crap review, the next one will be much better, I promise.