This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Robin’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I definitely acknowledge that I need to see this again since a good number of my complaints are due to being exhausted and irritable while watching.
The animation is gorgeous, the music is a lot of fun, and the voice acting is pretty good.
On the other hand, the story is really disappointingly conventional. It hits a lot of the same beats that Disney movies, especially Disney princess movies, hit over and over. The beginning of the movie is especially rough because it feels almost like it's just going through the motions to move the plot along.
Having watched multiple videos about how Hercules is not a very good movie in the last few days, I felt like this actually had quite a bit in common with Hercules. On the positive side were the inclusion of mythology and creative art styles; I really did love the animated tattoos on Maui. On the negative side was the chosen one narrative and the occasionally rote plot.
I found Maui very annoying and a lot of the banter between Moana and Maui contrived. "I Am Moana" is an absolutely beautiful scene but at the same time it feels like such a Lion King rehash, I feel like it deserved much more. There's also a lack of a single antagonist which is fine except that I think it weakens some of the tension of the third act a little bit.
I really thought I was going to love this, I didn't go in with the mentality that I was too sophisticated for kid's movies or anything. I'm hoping that when I rewatch this, better rested, that I'll bump this up half a star or more.