I really liked this movie. Like, really.
The story is fairly simple: Moana, daughter of the chieftain, is chosen by the ocean to be the one to find the demigod Maui and take him to return the Heart of Te Fiti, a kind of earth goddess. The idyllic life of Moana's people is on the line.
The movie isn't perfect. The two encounters—one with coconut pirates, one with a crab that collects shiny things—were not particularly tense and felt like minor speed bumps rather than major conflicts. And the twist (I won't give it away) was obvious to me from the start. I didn't even think Maui was all that funny or clever.
So . . . If all that . . . Why did I like this movie so much?
I'm not entirely sure. I can tell you it's gorgeous to look at. I can tell you the music is the best a Disney movie has had in a long, long time. But in the end, the movie simply spoke to something in me. I found myself tearing up at the weirdest moments. And I'm steadfastly not a cryer.
So maybe this is a very personal kind of connection. Your mileage may vary. But, despite minor points, I think this is a fabulous movie.
P.S. The short before the film was also cute. It wasn't saying anything new, but it did get across its message in a fun way.