Fall doesn’t technically begin until Sept. 22, but let’s pretend it’s already here, so we never have to discuss the bad summer at the movies again.
Thankfully, it looks like we’re getting some gems from now until Dec. 20, when winter arrives, including Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Arrival (review), La La Land (review), and Moana. Disney’s computer animated musical is a mashup of things people like — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, strong female protagonists, wacky animal sidekicks, Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda, “from the studio behind Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph” — and it looks wonderful.
Here’s the official plot description.
Moana [is] a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.
The Rock as a demigod — excuse me, “shapeshifter, demigod of the wind and sea, hero of man” — is obviously the big draw here, but the trailer above does a nice job of sharing the spotlight between Maui and Moana. Co-directors Ron Clements and John Musker wanted her to stand out from previous Disney princesses, which is to say, she has a realistic body type. “That was a deliberate attempt, partly inspired by wanting her to be different,” Musker said. “And then we wanted her to be an action hero, capable of action.”
I hope Moana kicks Ariel in the fin.