Disney’s “Moana” comes home

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There’s something about a Disney animated film that brings out the inner child in adults and completely delights kids. That is definitely true with “Moana,” which is now available on Blu-ray Combo Pack. The bonus features included will surprise and educate viewers about the intricacies necessary to create this awesome and beautiful film.

Moana, Maui the Demigod (voiced delightfully by Dwayne Johnson), Pua the pig, and Heihei the rooster combine in a fun film featuring memorable (and Oscar-nominated) music. The movie itself was nominated for an Academy Award, among others.

The film introduces the newest Disney Princess, Moana, the daughter of a village chief who disobeys her family and her people by venturing out into the ocean to ultimately save everyone. Casting Hawaiian native Auli’i Cravalho as the young adventurer was a coup. This young woman is only 17 years old and has already made her mark on pop culture and the entertainment industry. Director Ron Clements told the media, “She embodied the character.”

The bonus features include deleted scenes and a fun deleted song that never made it to the screen. Viewers can now experience a version of the song, sung by members of the Broadway cast of “Hamilton.”

The lengths the filmmakers went to, to create this beautifully animated story are front and center in the features. For instance, new software had to be created to make the water and the hair look realistic. And something that might come as a surprise to viewers is the fact that the integration of 2D and 3D animation is a new process. To animate Mini Maui, one of the tattoos on Maui, animator Eric Goldberg hand drew the character, who is basically Maui’s conscience. As Goldberg says, he’s “Jiminy Cricket with attitude.”

Moana was made to represent respect for nature and the filmmakers spent many weeks in the Polynesian islands soaking up the cultures and heritage. The goal was to portray the islands accurately so that when the islanders saw the film they could see themselves and their villages in the movie. When viewers see the 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, they will see the depth the folks at Disney went to, to create a culturally representative movie featuring a young girl named Moana, which actually translates to “ocean” or “from the ocean.”

Besides creating the characters and story with respect to the cultures and heritages, the costumes had to also reflect the islands. The story takes place 3,000 years ago so there are no photos to see what the people would have worn. Symbolism of the clothing came into play, as did the actual designs. Moana’s clothes “had to be functional” because she is a warrior.

And the filmmakers went one step further in creating this new adventure. People with Polynesian roots voice all the characters, with the exception of Heihei.

Enjoy the fun and embrace the amazing story and artistry with the Blu-ray Combo Pack of “Moana.”

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About Author

Francine Brokaw

Francine has been covering the entertainment industry, products, and travel for over 20 years. She has been published internationally in newspapers, magazines, and on websites. Her book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, looks at all aspects of being an entertainment journalist.

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