It seems like we’ve been hearing this and that about Moana forever without any hint of an actual trailer. And while this is just a teaser, it still gives me a lot of hope about what the movie itself will be like.
I’m loving the humor and sense of fun so far in the trailer, and I can’t wait to see how the cast carries the movie. I often feel like the Rock is hit or miss when it comes to his acting skills, but it looks like his part as Maui is going to be hilarious. I loved that they actually have the animated character mimicking some of the Rock’s signature expressions, like the People’s Eyebrow.
I’m further happy to see that the character of Maui is, so far, pretty accurately portrayed in terms of his real mythology. I would have liked to see more of Moana herself, rather than the small taste of her character we get from her watching Maui grandstanding, but I do understand that the celebrities in the cast are going to carry the bulk of the advertising at first. I’m the first to admit, as well, that my Hamiltrash ass is excited to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s name in the music credits, and I’m looking forward to hearing his contributions and to seeing what role Phillipa Soo is going to play.
The animation is beautiful and fluid and I’m excited to see what new ridiculous height Disney takes their dedication to this time around. They revolutionized the animation of hair in Tangled and Brave and broke new ground on the animation of snow in Frozen, and it’s always exciting to see what they’ll do next. Also, it’s heartening that Moana herself is not just a palette-swapped version of the white Frozen-face character, suggesting that, just maybe, Disney realized that revolutionizing all those non-human animation techniques and then turning around and whining that animating women was too hard was just a little bit unacceptable.
My only real concern about the movie so far is unrelated to the actual content. This movie comes out in five months, and yet we’re somehow only just starting the advertising train as far as actual trailers are concerned. Press releases about what cool new celeb is attached to the project are all well and good, but a little kid doesn’t care who Lin-Manuel Miranda is, and they’re the demographic this movie is actually for. Disney needs to step up its hype machine and get kids excited to see this movie the way they’re getting kids excited to see, say, Finding Dory, because, no offense to Dory, a movie that represents traditional Pacific Islander culture and does so accurately is way more culturally important and significant than a sequel to a movie about fish, however much we love said fish. So here’s to plenty more trailers in the near future—am genuinely excited for this movie and November can’t come fast enough.