-That ocean made things pretty convenient whenever the story demanded it.
-"How Far I'll Go", despite being catchy, fell pretty flat for me. It's pretty much "Go the Distance" from Hercules but without as much depth of emotion. Also, I feel like the actress singing it was belting far too much, felt a little strained. Not horrible by any means though.
-Wish they justified Maui coming back a little more. Sure, that was bound to happen, but it seems just way too convenient after such a dark parting.
-That said, I thought the character of Maui was pretty awesome, had more layers than I expected. Loved how annoyed he was by Moana - she had to work for his approval and friendship. I wanted a bit more of his arc. I know it's pretty standard for a character to say the exact right thing at the exact right time, but in exchange, it made him a bit more shallow than I thought.
Agree about all this. It's interesting how much of Gaston is in the character of Maui - His sidekick is essentially himself - but it's adjusted enough so that this is part of what makes him likable.
-The way Tamatoa is animated, Jermaine Clement's voice work, that David Bowie tribute "Shiny" = One of the funniest things non-Pixar Disney has done in YEARS.
A sharp difference of opinion. The animation on Tamatoa is a pale re-tread of Dr. Facilier working his voodoo at the end of "Friends On the Other Side", which may be why I didn't like it here. The character and even the song is fine as a Flight of the Conchords moment, but the scene comes in from another studio. It doesn't elevate Moana, it pulls away from it.
The way the song and style of music come from out of nowhere also reminds me of Chris Cooper rapping in The Muppets - songs by Bret Mckenzie - but again, the meta-film acknowledges what a strange gear change that is so it works within the film. Going to be interesting to read other opinions on this.
BTW, "One of the funniest things non-Pixar Disney has done in YEARS." I would put that label on Shark Head. I love that the joke is made, but they keep it going through the entire scene
(Also funnier than Jermaine Clement's voice work, Idris Elba as a walrus.)
-The other favorite part was when she had the flashback to the elders traveling across the sea. "We Know the Way" should be the song that wins the Oscar. Lin's vocals = Heaven.
I was so disappointed to realize Lin's part was only a guest vocal cameo. And don't you agree this should've been the opening song? Also, should've been longer.
-"You're Welcome" was fun and catchy. The Rock can sing. Not bad either.
Still stuck in my head. I had a moment where I thought, "The Rock is going to sing?" but he puts his energy into it and it makes Maui to this film what The Genie is to Aladdin.
-After the thoroughly bland/boring plasticine animation in FROZEN, the work here is truly inspired, frequently gorgeous - I even gasped with joy when Tamatoa lit up in the dark.
Musker and Clements are great at mixing animation styles, and I'm happy to see them still doing it with computers. Though story-wise they're right down Disney's middle, they guide the animators to moments of great artistry. That said, I think Zootopia is the better film this year.
There's one animation element that's more of a problem here, it's the skin texture. I get that Disney wants the films to still look animated and not fall into the uncanny valley, but because there's more skin here, you notice how plastic the humans look. But hey, the big eyes didn't bother me as much as usual.