A private viewing of Moana the movie by Disney was arranged by a few of us in our Pacific Organisation this past Saturday. All 94 seats were taken so the theatre was full of excited parents and kids. Some of us dressed in our Pacific colours, pales, flowers and necklaces to celebrate this significant feat. The fact that mainstream movie makers were featuring our culture and our part of the world on the big screen. Dressed both my boys in their Samoan attire of which they were excited to wear and they chose which beads or shells to wear with their shirts. My eldest wanted to wear his newly acquired shell necklace given to him from his performer and Samoan culture spokesman Uncle Chris.
We arrived at the Cinema foyer and some people were there already and there was so much excitement in the air. I had promoted the significance of the movie to those who asked me about it and one dad came up to express how his kids were more excited now that he told him why the movie was special to the Pacific.
Well when the movie started I was bursting with excitement and curiosity on what was coming! As the movie progressed I was lost in the island life that Disney portrayed which was exactly how we know it. We grew up reading those island life kind of stories and experienced a lot of it as kids so it was amazing that they portrayed it beautifully and in it's simplicity. That Moana wasn't a princess in a castle as such but an island girl whose palace was the rich land around her and the ocean that surrounded them.
The music was beautiful. Te Vaka sounds throughout was the sound of the Pacific. It was just right.
My favourite character was Moana's grandma who was depicted beautifully. The wise old lady who listened to everyone big or small. Aside from being depicted as crazy I liked that she was the voice of reason. We all grew up with a wise old lady in our lives who was partly a rebel and actually made sense of all the rules and why adults acted a certain way. She was a heartwarming character and how she guided her granddaughter was beautifully written.
I must admit when I heard of the Maui character and how he was prominent in the trailers I was worried that he was taking away from the heroine's role. But the movie fixed that, it put my worries to rest at how it turned out. Beautiful animation and thanks Disney for recognising our Voyaging Peoples.
*Half my family haven't seen it yet so I don't want to ruin it by saying too much about the movie)