THE ROCK: Singing and imparting wisdom in Disney’s new film, “Moana”

dwayne-the-rock-johnson-as-maui-in-moana( – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t the person you would figure would sing, but he pulls it off in the upcoming movie, “Moana” – pronouch [Moo-WAA-Nah]. was invited to a private, advanced screening of the movie and it was amazing. One of the most surprising things about the movie is that The Rock actually sings. While it’s happening you’re thinking, did that just happen? Is that really him? You can hear the fear in his voice but that he is also a decent singer.

On Motunui, a small island in Polynesia, young Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) is being raised to lead, but dreams of nautical adventure instead. Impending disaster causes her to finally head out past the reef, teaming up with a braggart demigod named Maui (The Rock) on a mission involving a magical stone.

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more about this movie, PLEASE STOP reading here. If you’re okay learning small but not the full plot or major moments, feel free to keep reading.

Back in 1963, Disney had huge success with a project tapping into Polynesian culture. It wasn’t a movie, but a theme-park attraction called the Enchanted Tiki Room that surrounded visitors with singing animatronic birds. Amazingly, it’s taken 50 years for the studio to get around to making a feature film based around the lore of the Pacific Islands. The good news is that Moana was worth the wait. The bad news is that it does not have a single singing bird, although there is a scene-stealingly idiotic chicken called Hei Hei.

Moana, who is an adventurous teenager,  sails out on a daring mission to save her people from her tiny village. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity.

The theme song for “Moana” is “How Far I’ll Go,” and it’s a big one. Sung by you’ll spend the entire time trying to figure out if it’s Janelle Moray, Audra or but it’s a young Alessia Cara. With a score written by Hamilton’s Lin Miranda, this movie couldn’t go wrong if it tried.


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