Sharing movies with my kids is true joy. I’m broken, in some sense, and movies carry more emotional weight than they should. My childhood’s happiest moments occurred in a darkened theater. Vicarious lives lived thanks to Spielberg, Tarantino and Disney.
Fortunately for me my kids consume like proper American youths. The brainwashing is going well. At the ripe ages of 5 and 2, my little girl and baby boy are immersed in pop culture. Khora, the 5-year-old, loves the Disney Princess template and wants all of the toys and apparel that accompanies. Ollie is a superhero fanatic at 2 years of age. When recently asked if he’d like to go to our Local Wild Animal Park he responded “Nope. Let’s go to the Wild Avenger Park. Where Captain America and the Hulk lives!! “He concluded that sentence with a fist bump to the air. He’s convinced that should be a thing.
They are chewing the Disney propaganda down whole and there is a part of me that wishes they would reject it a little more. I wouldn’t mind some subversive children’s entertainment. Maybe Ollie could get into a German animated series about a morbid troll that lives under a priest’s bed and makes various Mexican dishes out of the stolen socks of orphan children. Perhaps Khora can find a Youtube channel where a creepy old lady opens melted candy bars with her fake teeth and feeds them to a chain smoking monkey. A little left of center.
Instead, we are firmly set as a functioning component of the masses which means we are practically contractually obligated to see the new Disney animated flick Moana. The boy stayed home. A 2-year-old in the movie theater is an affront to civilization and people that bring their kids to the movies that have no possible skills allowing them to sit still for more than 90 seconds should be tied to the wall and slapped in the face with Red Vines until skin is broken.
Khora loved the movie. It has your standard “young girl rejects her parental guidance and goes her own way to carve her own path on her own terms” theme that has become familiar in nearly every other Disney princess movie from the last 30 years. The Little Mermaid, Mulan, Tangled, and Brave all share this thought. I guess it’s a good idea to reinforce despite that I am the one awaiting rejection if this “lesson” sets in.
The animation is gorgeous and the movie moves at a good clip despite the fact that the film runs long for a kid’s movie: One hour 53 minutes. The music is very catchy. The characters are well rounded and realistically realized. Khora was even more interested in the live-action Beauty and the Beast trailer and asked me halfway through Moana if she could watch that movie now.
Jemaine Clement of The Flight of the Concords fame pulls off a great musical number and would have been welcome to have more screen time. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson pulls off his voice work in that you aren’t distracted by the fact that it’s him.
Khora made it through the entire movie and consumed 4.5 ounces of sour gummy candy, 2.5 cups of popcorn and about 26 ounces of Pink Lemonade that did not contain a single bit of lemon juice.
Parental advisory: there is a rather frightening monster in the film, a Lava god that moves with a fluidness that resembles the stuff of nightmares. The lil’ littles may have issue with this. At 5, Khora was not phased.
Both of us give Moana a solid recommend. Now we wait for the Blu-ray release for multiple viewings that will no doubt lead to the purchase of a variety dolls, pjs and plush animals. The Joy !!