Moana

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Moana

Postby charliepanayi » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:06 pm UTC

After a few teasers, here's the first 'proper' trailer for Disney's next film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKFuXETZUsI
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Re: Moana

Postby Diadem » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:31 am UTC

The animation is really glorious, but based on the trailer the story and characters sound kinda boring.

It's only a trailer, which doesn't say too much about the actual movie, but yeah.
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Re: Moana

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:13 pm UTC

Yeah, that looks...stunningly generic. Which is a shame, because it's pretty gorgeous. But in terms of character writing, it feels like it could just as easily have come out of Dreamworks.

(And I'd just like to say, could we please have a movie now and again where the resident god/demigod/mythical hero figure is treated as anything like a source of awe rather than a total putz? Just for variety's sake? I get that Māui is apparently something of a trickster figure, but that's a different thing than just being an annoying jackass who Has To Learn To Care as they seem to be going for here. If I were invested in Hawaiian folklore I'd probably be kinda pissed.)
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Re: Moana

Postby charliepanayi » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:51 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Yeah, that looks...stunningly generic. Which is a shame, because it's pretty gorgeous. But in terms of character writing, it feels like it could just as easily have come out of Dreamworks.

(And I'd just like to say, could we please have a movie now and again where the resident god/demigod/mythical hero figure is treated as anything like a source of awe rather than a total putz? Just for variety's sake? I get that Māui is apparently something of a trickster figure, but that's a different thing than just being an annoying jackass who Has To Learn To Care as they seem to be going for here. If I were invested in Hawaiian folklore I'd probably be kinda pissed.)


*shrugs* I'm a big Discworld fan, portraying gods as venal and idiotic is something I rather enjoy. I think you're both reading a lot into character writing off a two minute trailer, pretty sure the trailers for Zootopia didn't have time to include the whole social subtext thing that makes the film what it is.
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Re: Moana

Postby commodorejohn » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:44 pm UTC

charliepanayi wrote:*shrugs* I'm a big Discworld fan, portraying gods as venal and idiotic is something I rather enjoy.

Yeah, it works there - but it's gotten to the point where it's pretty much the default setting for all modern fantasy/myth takes. Everything is a Shrek now and there just seems to be so few movies that are interested in giving a legitimate sense of wonder at their magic and mythology.

I think you're both reading a lot into character writing off a two minute trailer, pretty sure the trailers for Zootopia didn't have time to include the whole social subtext thing that makes the film what it is.

Could be; I've seen good movies with terrible trailers before. On the other hand, if you want to pick Zootopia as an example, from the very first trailer they both gave enough of a rundown to establish the premise (if not fill in all the details on the setting,) and clearly communicated what their characters were like and why we should like them.
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Re: Moana

Postby KnightExemplar » Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:11 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:The animation is really glorious, but based on the trailer the story and characters sound kinda boring.


Pacific-Islander fantasy adventure. I like fantasy, I like adventure. I haven't really seen the Pacific Islander angle before.

commodorejohn wrote:
charliepanayi wrote:*shrugs* I'm a big Discworld fan, portraying gods as venal and idiotic is something I rather enjoy.

Yeah, it works there - but it's gotten to the point where it's pretty much the default setting for all modern fantasy/myth takes. Everything is a Shrek now and there just seems to be so few movies that are interested in giving a legitimate sense of wonder at their magic and mythology


I saw him more like a "Hercules" figure. As in, more of a hero with powers from the gods. But he's mostly mortal: feels pain (or can be hit by poison darts at least). And the female lead seems to have water powers of her own that may rival his.

So its basically mythical heroes go for a fetchquest. Which is a standard story to be sure, but Disney is pretty good at taking standard stories and making something good out of them. (See Incredibles). I found "Brave" to be stunningly generic however, so its not like Disney is without fault here. But more often than not, Disney manages to make something fresh and new.

I can't say that I'm hyped to watch the movie, but I don't think I saw anything necessarily wrong in the trailer.
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Re: Moana

Postby ahammel » Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:37 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote: I found "Brave" to be stunningly generic however, so its not like Disney is without fault here. But more often than not, Disney manages to make something fresh and new.

It seems like Disney has a tendency to get pulled in ten different directions over the course of a production in an attempt to make it more marketable. Usually they come up with something good anyway, but it's easy to see how you could wind up with something boring and generic like Brave or *ahem* Frozen.

And occasionally they throw up their hands and say "fuckit, we'll put whatever crazy bullshit we want in this movie" and it is glorious.
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Re: Moana

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Sep 17, 2016 5:50 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:And occasionally they throw up their hands and say "fuckit, we'll put whatever crazy bullshit we want in this movie" and it is glorious.

Oh Lord do I wish we could get another production like that. It's up there against the best of Pixar in the running for my favorite animated movie of the last twenty years.
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Re: Moana

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:19 am UTC

ahammel wrote:And occasionally they throw up their hands and say "fuckit, we'll put whatever crazy bullshit we want in this movie" and it is glorious.


That was an accident however. Tens of millions of dollars were spent trying to recreate the Lion King. Then the original director failed to deliver in the timeframe, and then left the project under bad terms. Sting was supposed to make far more than just a single song for the film. Then the new director was given ~2 years and was forced to rewrite the entire script in a new direction. (Note that the project started in 1994. The old director quit in 1998, giving the new director very little time to actually do anything)

See "Kingdom of the Sun", the original film effort: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emper ... of_the_Sun

Angered that Allers left the project, Michael Eisner gave Fullmer two weeks to salvage the film or production would be shut down.

[snip]

In the interim, Chris Williams, who was a storyboard artist during Kingdom of the Sun, came up with the idea of making Pacha an older character as opposed to the teenager that he was in the original story. Following up on the new idea, former late-night comedy writer David Reynolds stated, "I pitched a simple comedy that's basically a buddy road picture with two guys being chased in the style of a Chuck Jones 'toon, but faster paced. Disney said, 'Give it a shot.'"


So "The Emperor's New Groove" is closer to "Iron Man" or "Deadpool". Its more of an accidental film with a completely fucked up process. Iron Man suffered from the 2008 writer's strike (so the vast majority of lines were ad-libbed / impromptu). Deadpool was cut tens of millions of dollars as the producers had low expectations of the film. (Indeed, the film likely was only done because of the positive reaction to the leaked footage)

And "The Emperor's New Groove" was completely overhauled as the original director quit.
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Re: Moana

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:45 am UTC

Yes, it was a happy accident - but what a happy accident!
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Re: Moana

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:32 pm UTC

So Maui is an actual Mythological Hero, with legends told about him across the Pacific Islands. From Hawaii to Polynesia, his legend is known.

I'm interested. I always like mythological stories from various cultures: Egyptian, Greek, Norse. It'd be nice to add a bit of Pacific-Islander mythology to my know-how.

Māui takes the jaw-bone of his ancestress Muri-ranga-whenua and uses it as a weapon in his first expedition. This is to snare the Sun and make it go slower because the days were too short for people to get their work done. With the help of his brothers, Māui nooses the Sun and beats him severely with the jaw-bone club until the Sun promises to go slower in future (Tregear 1891:233-234).


On the other hand: Disney isn't exactly the best at preserving mythological stories. (See Hercules. You know, that Roman name to the Greek guy named Heracles? )
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Re: Moana

Postby natraj » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:37 am UTC

yeah i don't think i would count on this movie to help your knowledge of pacific islander culture. also it is strange and kind of terrible when figures like maui are put alongside figures like hercules in terms of "fantasy/mythological figures whose stories disney is going to take and bastardize", because in the dominant societal narrative, the way these things always get discussed, people talk about it as if these are all equivalent myth-stories from ancient cultures which just contributes to the ongoing idea that indigenous cultures are all dead. which is a very prevalent and very wrong idea.

my closest friend is native hawaiian and was really excited when he first heard there was going to be a pacific islander disney princess finally but has been really appalled and dismayed at the first looks at maui so far; like, this is very much a living culture and one of the most important figures in hawaiian lore so idk. it is hard to tell from a preview but i really hope they are culturally respectful about it.
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Re: Moana

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:03 am UTC

natraj wrote:yeah i don't think i would count on this movie to help your knowledge of pacific islander culture. also it is strange and kind of terrible when figures like maui are put alongside figures like hercules in terms of "fantasy/mythological figures whose stories disney is going to take and bastardize", because in the dominant societal narrative, the way these things always get discussed, people talk about it as if these are all equivalent myth-stories from ancient cultures which just contributes to the ongoing idea that indigenous cultures are all dead. which is a very prevalent and very wrong idea.

my closest friend is native hawaiian and was really excited when he first heard there was going to be a pacific islander disney princess finally but has been really appalled and dismayed at the first looks at maui so far; like, this is very much a living culture and one of the most important figures in hawaiian lore so idk. it is hard to tell from a preview but i really hope they are culturally respectful about it.


Well, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's mother is from Samoa, so Disney at least has a Pacific Islander acting as Maui. So that's at least one major issue averted.

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I don't know much about Maui, but if he's as big of a figure as you can say, Disney is probably right to tiptoe around this issue and actually get someone with some kind of Pacific-Islander heritage. For the people who really do care about this sort of thing anyway...


But yeah, doing a cultural movie these days is like trying to perform ballet on a minefield. There's just so many issues at hand, its clearly a difficult process. Its sorta a damned if you do, damned if you don't however. IMO, its better for Disney to attempt the film (and risk a spectacular failure) rather than just ignoring the culture and the stories.

Hell, people seem primed to turn any issue into a cultural issue already. See this post if you don't believe me: http://io9.gizmodo.com/disney-does-brow ... 1786770402
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Re: Moana

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:49 pm UTC

When you're dealing with the beliefs of an active culture, you run the risk of... Well, essentially putting up something like this as a "This is what Americans believe sort of thing.

Or, let's say some filmmaker in Qatar makes a buddy comedy about Jesus and his Disciples that's just Oceans 12 set in 30CE.

Which now I want to see, but that's beside the point.

Point is that it's not a dead religion, it's not a basically extinct culture that was replaced by a more modern one, it's still an active thing in certain groups, some presumably more active than others, sure, but still alive.

You gotta tread carefully with that. Because if you don't, then best case scenario is you just look like a clueless idiot.
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Re: Moana

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:23 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:When you're dealing with the beliefs of an active culture, you run the risk of... Well, essentially putting up something like this as a "This is what Americans believe sort of thing.

Or, let's say some filmmaker in Qatar makes a buddy comedy about Jesus and his Disciples that's just Oceans 12 set in 30CE.

Which now I want to see, but that's beside the point.

Point is that it's not a dead religion, it's not a basically extinct culture that was replaced by a more modern one, it's still an active thing in certain groups, some presumably more active than others, sure, but still alive.

You gotta tread carefully with that. Because if you don't, then best case scenario is you just look like a clueless idiot.


I mean, we have cartoon reinterpretations of famous religious figures. And a lot of the times, the details are all wrong (or sometimes, some of the more violent details are deleted so that children can watch it). I don't recall any religious outrage at Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat or Jesus Christ Superstar.

Lets take "Prince of Egypt", as that's probably the closest analogue: a modern cartoon about a religious figure that takes... liberties... with their interpretation. But yeah, Moses being the adopted brother of the Pharaoh adds drama and whatever to the story. So its done like that. Religious communities, as far as I can tell, are more happy that there is a big Hollywood adaptation of the story rather than just being ignored again. (And that's a mainstream religion btw). Watching "The 10 Commandments" and "Passion of the Christ" all the time just gets boring, ya know?

At least with Christianity: I know that Christians want their story told. Its probably why Mormons are cool with "The Book of Mormon" frankly (I can't believe how much legitimate ad-space was bought out by the Church of Latter-day Saints when I saw that musical... they're practically funding the production at this point.)

--------

I literally know nothing about Maui. But if he's done tastefully and in the correct "spirit" as his stories, I think Disney has a good shot at making a good movie here. They don't even have to be that accurate frankly, they just need to make sure the character is treated with the proper respect. (seems difficult for a "trickster" however)

And if they're anything like Religious Christians, they'll be a little annoyed at the inaccuracies that will inevitably be introduced by the interpretation... but understanding of them. And overall, they'll be happy that their stories are being told on the big screen.
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Re: Moana

Postby Lucrece » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:41 am UTC

You just have to live with the idea that you're going to piss people off because your worldview does not align with theirs. We try to sell this idea of the minority hive mind, but even minority people have different experiences with what they think is an affront. Some people love The Sopranos, other find it either an inauthentic depiction of Italian American culture or yet more stereotyped TV.

I'm glad most creative groups still find it within them to put out their own artistic voice ahead of some referendum of what their art should be by the resident moralists.
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Re: Moana

Postby Mambrino » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:53 am UTC

One obvious point is that any depiction of a biblical story done by people from the Western cultural background will count as done by insiders to the foreseeable future. Now, I don't actually agree that we should not be allowed to touch other cultures' religious myths and other fiction if some creator actually thinks they have something original and worthwhile to say about the original legend to the wider audiences ... but then still, the tone, the story, and such matter in how such a work should be judged.

I mean, I am an atheist, but if were to introduce someone with minimal knowledge to a Judeo-Christian religo-cultural framework with a one movie, I'd probably choose The Prince of Egypt over, say, Life of Brian, even if I'd re-watch the latter myself. And I'd probably prefer Life of Brian to a comedic portrayal made by someone who would decide to create a silly movie based on vague ideas obtained by the pop-culture-osmosis broken telephone and one half-remembered chapter from a mediocre "religions of the world" textbook. And the Christianity has the benefit of being such a major religion that you get lots of stuff via the pop-culture-osmosis thing.

Given that the Disney treatment of other mythological legends (Hercules) / non-kid works (The Hunchback Notre-Dame has Frollo singing that one awesome song, but otherwise it misses the point) ... or took so much liberties with the original so the adaptation is actually an "inspired by" work that stands on its own instead of being adaptation, and you'd need a degree to spot the similarities anyway (Lion King / Hamlet), but that'd miss the point of it being marketable as a Pacific Island thing.

Yeah, let's say I'd be more comfortable if they would've found a popular children's book from the Pacific Islands and adapted that. That Disney does reasonably well.

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Re: Moana

Postby Liri » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:58 pm UTC

There's also this aspect to it. He definitely looks like he's modelled on IZ, the one Pacific Islander most mainlanders would recognize.

My mom went to a conference in Hawai'i when I was in the 4th grade and she was able to bring the family with her. I was 10, but I definitely picked up that the native culture was much more vibrant than, say, the indigenous cultures back in North Carolina. My dad was offered a position in the Hawaiian botanical garden, but he'd have had to learn the language.

Cynically, maybe some of it is a tourism draw. Not cynically, Polynesians have a reputation for being pretty warlike and were able to preserve more than a lot of other colonized cultures.

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Re: Moana

Postby Zohar » Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:14 pm UTC

Has anyone seen this yet? I'm very curious. Also it seems like there was a recently famous pornstar called Moana in Italy and Spain so they're changing the name there. I guess it's a good thing the movie will be shown dubbed.
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Re: Moana

Postby Diadem » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:12 pm UTC

Saw it today. For once it turns out that my expectation based on the trailer was entirely correct. The movie was visually stunning, with some of the most beautiful animation I've ever seen, but the story was rather generic. Not bad, but generic. If you're young and haven't seen this type of plot a billion times before I can imagine you will consider it a good story. There were a number of good jokes, and a few nice running gags, so the movie was definitely entertaining, but I don't think this will be remembered as one of Disney's masterpieces.

I won't comment on the portrayal of Maui, because I don't feel qualified to do that.

The movie was released as 'Vaiana' over here in The Netherlands. Since that's also the name of the main character, I'm unsure why they released it as Moana in other countries. As far as I remember there's no person, object, place or whatever named Moana in the movie.
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Re: Moana

Postby natraj » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:17 pm UTC

the name of the protagonist is moana in the us. they changed her name in some other places i think because there is a popular italian pornstar named moana and also some trademark conflict. but the protag is still named moana over here so so is the film.
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Re: Moana

Postby Diadem » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:23 pm UTC

Strange. I watched it subbed, not dubbed. Did they create two different English audio tracks for movie? Possible I guess, but that's a lot of trouble to go through just to change a name.
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Re: Moana

Postby charliepanayi » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:08 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Strange. I watched it subbed, not dubbed. Did they create two different English audio tracks for movie? Possible I guess, but that's a lot of trouble to go through just to change a name.


Probably - Zootopia is called Zootropolis in Europe after all, and they changed all mentions of Zootopia in the film to Zootropolis
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Re: Moana

Postby Zohar » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:22 pm UTC

I saw it on Wednesday and I enjoyed it. It's very pretty, the music and songs were good, the characters generally likable, and while the plot was fairly standard, the world around it was lovely to see.

I definitely don't know enough about Pacific-Islander culture to say how good a portrayal it is (other than "Oh those islands are pretty and remind me of when I went to Maui"). My husband (and anthropologist) talked about how the movie mixes a lot of different cultures together, and the village life it depicts is vastly different from Polynesian cultures, he specifically mentioned the lack of tabu.

I've been trying to find reviews or impressions by actual Pacific Islanders about the movie, unfortunately most of what I'm finding is what people thought about it before it came out, specifically discussing Maoi's appearance (and his weight). That's a valid concern, but I was hoping to hear what people thought of it afterwards. Some of the interviewed people said he seemed to be depicted as a buffoon and not a trickster, but that's based on impressions from the trailer, and I don't feel like the movie itself gives that image.
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Re: Moana

Postby plytho » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:58 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:My husband (and anthropologist)

It doesn't seem ethically sound when your husband is also your anthropologist..

Zohar wrote:I've been trying to find reviews or impressions by actual Pacific Islanders about the movie, unfortunately most of what I'm finding is what people thought about it before it came out, specifically discussing Maoi's appearance (and his weight).


After looking around a bit I've found this positive review and this critical twitter stream (with follow up after watching here).
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Re: Moana

Postby Zohar » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:35 pm UTC

plytho wrote:After looking around a bit I've found this positive review and this critical twitter stream (with follow up after watching here).

Thanks. I tried Tumblr and I tried google results from the past two days and didn't find these, so I appreciate your effort. Obviously a single movie can't represent an entire culture, the problem is we have very few movies that actually do. I was a bit surprised at the criticism regarding Moana's lack of sexuality, but I suppose sexuality and women of color is a pretty complicated subject - the trope of an exotic "other" woman exists, but the solution shouldn't be not to show sexual women, it's to show sexual women in realistic settings. It's also easy to point to Disney women characters who are not sexual and not in romantic relationships (Zootopia, Inside Out, Frozen...) but then we return to the issue of diversity and wanting to see more than two Polynesian princess (with Lilo also not having a romantic counterpart).
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Re: Moana

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:35 am UTC

Zohar wrote:but then we return to the issue of diversity and wanting to see more than two Polynesian princess (with Lilo also not having a romantic counterpart).
I realize this isn't a Lilo & Stitch thread, but -- that side-comment in the article threw me off. Because Lilo's sister definitely has a romantic counterpart, and while she's not the main character, she's definitely a main character (second only to Lilo and/or Stitch). I can see how the desexualization argument works with this movie, but not so much with Lilo and Stitch -- unless you accept the premise that you shouldn't have children as main characters?

(Either way, this was also something I really wanted to read about -- critical responses to this movie from Pacific Islanders -- and the twitter article was extremely informative in that respect!)

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Re: Moana

Postby charliepanayi » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:00 am UTC

Best bit was Jemaine Clement channeling David Bowie for Shiny.
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Re: Moana

Postby Zohar » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:04 pm UTC

I don't think the idea was sexualizing children, children can still have romantic counterparts, childhood friends that we assume become their partners later in life. That's a common enough story, which they chose not to show. It reminds me of Princess and the Frog, where the only black princess ends up not being a princess and working instead (a sort of "find satisfaction in your work" sort of story). Which is not a bad story to tell, but if it's the only one you're telling about black people, then it is a bit "OK you white girls get to marry princes and live without a worry in your life. Black girls- you can go run a restaurant and work every day until you die!"
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Re: Moana

Postby Diadem » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:47 pm UTC

Any narrative is problematic if it is the only narrative you ever tell about a group of people. But some movie has to be the first (major one). Unless your solution is to simple have no narratives at all about that group.

Which is why this criticism of Moana not having a romantic partner is I think misguided. Because it is criticism of the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind. Up until recently an oft heard and entirely valid complaint about Disney (and movies in general) was that female characters always needed to have romantic plots attached. They finally started fixing that and now people complain about the opposite.
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Re: Moana

Postby Angua » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:05 pm UTC

I saw it tonight. Finally, properly rendered coconuts! The plants were amazing, I feel homesick. Those conch shells.... almost as good as the real thing (and the hibiscus in the end credits looked real).

I liked it, I felt it was a good story, nice to have no romance (and I'm sure it will be done in the sequels :P ) and I liked the songs. I think if they had put in a romantic subplot it would have ruined it? Like, it would have had to be some person she left on the island, and then you have to come up with a non-douchebag way of writing them out - the two things would either be having them not wanting her to go (douchebag, and the father already fills that role) or having them get injured in some manner (which leaves you with the feeling that girls only do stuff by themselves if others are unable).
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Re: Moana

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:41 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I don't think the idea was sexualizing children, children can still have romantic counterparts, childhood friends that we assume become their partners later in life. That's a common enough story, which they chose not to show. It reminds me of Princess and the Frog, where the only black princess ends up not being a princess and working instead (a sort of "find satisfaction in your work" sort of story). Which is not a bad story to tell, but if it's the only one you're telling about black people, then it is a bit "OK you white girls get to marry princes and live without a worry in your life. Black girls- you can go run a restaurant and work every day until you die!"


Going off on another Disney Tangent with the Princess and the Frog: I thought that she definitely was a princess by the end of the movie. It is implied that she marries a Prince after all... and after the marriage the kiss broke the spell. The issue is that its deeply American to not really have "nobility", so the Princess "in name only" is really the only way that plot would make sense.

Besides, she wasn't "working in a restaurant", she was the owner, and Frog Prince Charming was one of the waiters. If the plotline were any more "Princess-like", it'd be a major detriment to the New Orleans culture that the movie portrayed very well. (EX: "Technically" a princess due to being the daughter of the Mati gras King... the entrepreneurial spirit... crazy voodoo, etc. etc). I honestly think that owning a restaurant for yourself is a perfectly acceptable ending and a great dream to work towards.

Honestly, the main criticism I've heard of for Princess and the Frog is that the Prince came from a made up country. But the message was on point... unless you really think its a bad idea to teach young girls to become Small Business Owners?

-------------

Also, I enjoyed Moana very much. I have no idea about anything about Polynesian culture or whatever. The world building was excellent, and they portrayed the adventuring spirit very well through the song "We know the way": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unoJii5PJV4

Apparently, the lyrics are "Aue Aue", which translate to... something... I hope. Lol. Anyway, that's my favorite song. But there seems to be a lot of good picks this time. Excellent songwriting. My friends picked "Shiny", but they were also Jemaine Clement fans, so that makes sense.
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Re: Moana

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:25 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Any narrative is problematic if it is the only narrative you ever tell about a group of people. But some movie has to be the first (major one). Unless your solution is to simple have no narratives at all about that group.

Which is why this criticism of Moana not having a romantic partner is I think misguided. Because it is criticism of the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind. Up until recently an oft heard and entirely valid complaint about Disney (and movies in general) was that female characters always needed to have romantic plots attached. They finally started fixing that and now people complain about the opposite.


I'm perfectly happy with not trying to awkwardly attach romance to young children. Narratives of people just going off and having an adventure without falling in love are good and healthy, I think. Some of the child princess/true love narratives get a bit creepy, I think.

Quite liked the film overall. Dunno about the veracity of it's portrayal of the culture, but it seemed like a positive portrayal, and as a bit more than just traditional euro-centric stuff with bits thrown in. So, all in all, a good step. I like when media incorporates some different elements than the overly familiar ones. Songs were quite enjoyable, particularly "You're Welcome", and the movie had a pretty good pace to it overall. Narratively, everyone's motivations and what not seem consistent, and the world as a whole makes sense.

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Re: Moana

Postby Jorpho » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:04 am UTC

With a 95% Tomatometer rating, I was expecting huge things from this film – but it is indeed so very generic most of the way. (The bits with the tattoos reeked of someone desperately trying to replicate Aladdin.)

I'll take The Red Turtle or Kirikou and the Sorceress over this any day.

By the way, a mostly-finished version of The Sweatbox was leaked online a while ago if you want to know more about the troubled production of The Emperor's New Groove.

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Re: Moana

Postby Weeks » Tue May 02, 2017 3:47 am UTC

This film was visually stunning. I know people brush it off like "well it's CG lol" but I haven't seen such a beautifully rendered movie before. I kept being awestruck by the lighting, and how if it weren't for the exaggerated features of the characters they'd look like real humans in a real setting. Bits of it were definitely eye-fooling to me. I've watched a few CG movies in the last years (How to Train Your Dragon (missed the second one though), Toy Story 3, Up, Wall-E, Rio, Brave, etc. etc. etc.) and while they were all definitely very competently made and visually impressive, this one seemed a notch above. I do remember in HTTYD noticing how the character's clothes looked realistic (ACTUAL WOVEN FABRIC WHOA!). Maybe it's just recency bias/contrast effect or something.

It makes me definitely interested in watching more (technically competent) computer animated films in the future, especially more realistic ones. I remember watching the first Final Fantasy movie (...over a decade ago...) and thinking WOW THIS IS INCREDIBLE, and it hasn't aged well. I didn't see the second movie, but I'm imagining what would a remake of the first one would look like with today's technology.
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