Moana

Started by Chris L, Jul 30, 2017, 12:04 pm

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Chris L

@AmyG and I watched this Disney Animation Studios feature last night on Netflix. We were particularly impressed with the visuals, which were the most photorealistic produced by any of John Lasseter's animation teams to date. Even the "cartoon" characters had vividly rendered features and the mise-en-scène, as we pretentious film buffs like to say, is beautiful, with each shot perfectly framed.

There's also a story, having to do with gods, demi-gods, and the Polynesian voyagers who would eventually found Hawaii, but that wasn't really the film's strongest aspect. The young girl they found to play the title character was great, though, and you'd never guess it was her first part. There were some throwaway jokes about Disney princesses and their cute animal sidekicks, with the animal sidekick in this case being a chicken who was adorable primarily for his utter stupidity. In that sense it was a self-referential send-up of Disney films, which (along with the feminist nature of the main character) redeemed Disney's continued insistence on making "princess" movies.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Bobster

I did like the film very much too--although I don't know how much "redemption" Disney needs.

Remember that in Cinderella, she just wants to go to the Ball and never says "Oh it only some man would help me" or "Oh to marry the Prince!"

Chris L

Sorry, @Bobster. Just being sarcastic about Disney's princess affinities. I don't mind the films and, in fact, enjoy some of them. Amy and I binged through the early Disney classics a couple of years ago, like Snow White. Still pretty impressive when you realize that nobody had done animation on anything close to that level before.

But I liked the self-referential "princess" jokes in Moana, a sign that Disney (or at least Lasseter) is willing to make fun of their own tropes.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Bobster

Well yes.  It was very well done without saying "See?  We've moved on from the other silly princess movies!"

Chris L

It's amazing how much like Pixar movies the Disney Animation Studio films have become, obviously because John Lasseter now has creative control of both. About the only thing that distinguishes Moana from a Pixar film is the "princess" -- and even Pixar has it's own princess film in Brave. I say this with admiration because I think Lasseter is the most amazing creative force that Disney has had since Walt himself, someone who is both an innovator and has a strong sense both of what appeals to intelligent audiences and what drives creative people to create films for those audiences. In fact, I think Lasseter is probably more in touch with his large staff of creative writers and artists than Disney was, at least in Walt's later years.
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

Bobster

Oh, I have such problems with Brave; I couldn't get past the cruelty to her mother.

DiveMilw

I was a little shocked how much I liked this film.  It plays out like a stage musical and the songs drive the story and develop character.  I thought it was a huge step forward in animated musicals.  Very well done!
I no longer long for the old view!

Chris L

Quote from: DiveMilw on Aug 07, 2017, 03:03 pmI was a little shocked how much I liked this film.  It plays out like a stage musical and the songs drive the story and develop character.  I thought it was a huge step forward in animated musicals.  Very well done!
Oh, I'm sure they have a stage musical in mind if there proves to be a demand for it. Not to mention a dark ride at the Disney parks with a lot of caverns and underwater effects. ;)
But us, old friend,
What's to discuss, old friend?

DiveMilw

Aug 08, 2017, 03:13 pm #8 Last Edit: Aug 25, 2019, 08:31 pm by AmyG
Quote from: Chris L on Aug 07, 2017, 03:21 pm
Quote from: DiveMilw on Aug 07, 2017, 03:03 pmI was a little shocked how much I liked this film.  It plays out like a stage musical and the songs drive the story and develop character.  I thought it was a huge step forward in animated musicals.  Very well done!
Oh, I'm sure they have a stage musical in mind if there proves to be a demand for it. Not to mention a dark ride at the Disney parks with a lot of caverns and underwater effects. ;)
It would make a fantastic dark ride!!   They could use the same coaster as Crush's Coaster in Paris.  They could even use the exact same layout and just re-theme it if they wanted to do it on the cheap.  But if they tweaked it it could be an awesome ride. 

I no longer long for the old view!