New twist on Disney princess films: ‘Moana’ may inspire you to be brave

By Hollyann Gardner
Times-News correspondentĀ 

This image released by Disney shows Moana, voiced by Auli'i Cravalho, in a scene from the animated film, "Moana." / Disney via The Associated Press

Disney has a new film heroine in “Moana.”
This beautiful movie is a story following Polynesian chief’s daughter, Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), and her quest to set things right on her native island of Motunui with the help of the tough but lovable demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson).
So what stands out about Moana? The animation is stunning, especially the gorgeous bright blue water that is a main theme in the story. Moana herself is a wonderful character as well. Unlike previous princesses, who are unrealistically skinny, Moana has a realistic body type for a teenage girl. She also is Disney’s first Polynesian princess. Auli’i Cravalho was cast as the lead role after filmmakers visited the South Pacific islands to audition young women. You can see her emotional reaction to receiving the role by going on YouTube and searching “Casting Moana.”
With quirky characters (a chicken and a pig included), catchy tunes (such as the iconic “How Far I’ll Go” and the hysterical “You’re Welcome”), and a good dose of classic Polynesian culture, “Moana” is a classic Disney film for every age that will leave you feeling happy and nostalgic. It will inspire you to be brave and to never give up on your dreams.

Hollyann Gardner is a home-schooled sophomore and a Teens & 20s writer.

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