Remember the days when Disney princesses spent entire movies fawning over boys they hardly knew, their only life goal becoming a wife? Well, thanks to Moana, those days are long gone.
And what a joyous relief!
Moana was released over Thanksgiving weekend, smashing box office records and the old-fashioned mindset that a movie featuring the journey of a young woman (without a prince in sight) wouldn’t fly with moviegoers.
Why does this movie work? The ideas aren’t particularly new-a youthful protagonist leaving their family’s expectations behind to find their calling-but the feel is still fresh. Maybe it’s the gorgeous animation of the lush tropical islands and water, or the mesmerizing music created by Hamilton composer and broadway sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Or maybe it’s just seeing a young woman figure finding her way in a world throwing obstacles in her path.
Because, ya know, that feels familiar to most of us.
The cast is excellent, and the plot moves quickly with lots of laughs and magical moments. Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” is understated and fun as demi-god Maui, and his song “You’re Welcome” has become a theme around my house (me: “I made dinner…WHAT CAN I SAY EXCEPT, YOU’RE WELCOME” kids: sigh).
I took my two sons ages 8 and 10, a tough crowd to any film not featuring CGI superheroes, and they actually loved it.
Who knows, maybe they will grow up thinking it’s totally normal for a girl princess to be a warrior. Won’t that be nice?
Moana is playing in theaters nationwide. See the official trailer here:
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LAURA NIX GERSON is the CEO of Nix|Gerson Media and the Founder of MomAngeles a site she launched because she was planning a lot of playdates and her friends kept asking her where to go and what to do. So it seemed easier just to put it all online in one place. In a past life Laura was a publicist, event marketer and web producer….oh wait, she still is. Laura has contributed to Modern Mom, CBS Local and Babble. Her greatest joy is story telling, sharing local finds and connecting people. Follow her @MomAngeles.