I have a hard time watching movies anymore, because I'm always trying to label plot parts. To be honest, I spent the first half of Moana dissecting scenes. First, I annoyed my family pointing out the obvious inciting incident. Then, I'm internally yelling, Turning Point! every fifteen minutes. The second half of the movie, I switched gears and contemplated how the plotting followed the Hero's Journey and considered the writers' attempts to work princess and pet into that device.
Being a writer can be the pits, unless you're a major Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings fan, where the storyline is so deep and rich you forget about reality and writing devices, too. It takes superb writing and acting to stop a writer from looking through the presentation instead of enjoying it.
All in all, I liked Moana okay. The graphics and music were beautiful. The ending was pleasantly unpredictable, if not a little unsatisfying. If I had to choose between oceanic Disney films, however, I still have to champion Lilo & Stitch. No matter how many times I watch that favorite, I laugh, cry, and sing Elvis songs all day long!
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