Disney has a new princess. Moana hit theaters a few weeks ago. With a stellar cast and an even more stellar soundtrack, the film does two very cool things:
1. It features a non-white female protagonist with no romantic story line as the lead character
2. It features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson singing.
The film has a lot of really fantastic elements, including animal sidekicks, beautiful animation and some really funny bickering between Maui (The Rock) and Moana (Auli’i Cravalho).
The Moana soundtrack is full of original music written by Hamilton composer and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. The soundtrack also features music by Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i.
Newcomer and Hawaaian native Auli’i Cravalho shines in the part. The 16-year-old’s voice conveys a passion and strength unexpected in someone so young. Her best song, How Far I’ll Go, gives Frozen’s Let it Go a run for its money. The soundtrack does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of Hawaiian culture and adventure in the music.
Miranda not only led his song-writing skills, but his vocals to a few songs as well. The soundtrack is full of talented musicians. Jemaine Clement, one half of the Flight of the Concords duo, lends his voice as well. Although Clement’s strange giant snail character seemed to be an unnecessary and even distracting addition to the film, his singing is catchy and well done.
With such an impressive amount of musical talent in Moana, I was surprised to find that my favorite song of the entire film was actually performed by The Rock.
His voice is unexpectedly fantastic and although he may not have as strong a voice as some of his cast mates, his energy and goofiness won my heart. The Rock has a confidence and an undeniable energy that’s absolutely contagious. His egotistical character Maui sings a song called You’re Welcome to Moana, essentially spending three minutes singing about how awesome he is and telling her “you’re welcome” for his very existence.
Check out the soundtrack. Not only does it have all the catchy songs from the film, but also includes some cool covers by various artists and demos performed by Miranda.
Moana–the soundtrack and the film– are absolutely fantastic. Go hit the theater and enjoy Moana’s musical adventure across the sea to try and save her people with the help of a self-absorbed demigod. The film is charming, heartfelt and very entertaining. Disney did not disappoint on this one.