Disney Studio’s latest animation feature Moana topped the Thanksgiving Day box office, finishing in front of last week’s winner Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film, which features the voice talents of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, earned a total of $15.7 million on its first day of release.
Moana: A Holiday Box Office Hit
Other than winning the Thanksgiving Day box office, Moana has been garnering a lot of buzz from critics. The story centers around the titular character Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), the daughter of the chieftain of a Polynesian island. The island’s food supplies begin to run low due to complications caused by the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson). So in an attempt to help her people and gain her father’s trust, Moana sails across the ocean to find Maui herself.
The film has all the tropes of every Disney princess movie out there. There’s the urge to find who you are meant to be, the limitations that stop you from achieving that, and even the usual talking pet ally. But critics have noted that the character Moana is like no other Disney princess. She’s funny, witty, and definitely needs no prince to save her, in fact, the movie does not focus on the idea of romance at all. It delivers a clear message that everyone should hold courage and compassion in our darkest days. It is these type of Disney films that truly give young girls someone to look up to.
A lot of people may agree that Moana is on par with Disney classics such as Aladdin or The Little Mermaid, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since the film was created by Disney veterans John Musker and Ron Clements. Big Hero 6 creators Chris Williams and Don Hall were also on-board to give the movie a modern twist, and the result is nothing short of amazing. To top it off, Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda composed the musical score.
The year 2016 has proven to be a great one for Disney as the studio has gathered a number of consecutive hits this year including The Jungle Book, Zootopia, Captain America: Civil War, and Finding Dory. After Moana, the next big contender under the Disney banner is the Star Wars spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.