Magical Movies Tour: Moana

I love Moana. I love Moana so much. Trying to decide what to focus on for this essay is almost impossible, but I’ve decided very specifically to focus on how Moana, the character in the movie Moana, goes perfectly on every step of “The Hero’s Journey”

Shall we?

The Call To Adventure

From the time she’s a literal baby, The Ocean is calling on Moana to venture out and save her people, she drops the Heart of Tafiti into her tiny baby lap. Of course we must first establish her normal life, as the chief’s daughter she’s learning to lead the tribe. It’s going very well.

Refusal Of The Call

Moana spends her whole life resisting this urge to go out onto the ocean and leave her home behind. She has responsibilities and also her father really hates the ocean. BUT, her island is in trouble and she goes into a cave and has a vision of her people’s history as voyagers and realizes what she needs to do.

Supernatural Aid

The Ocean itself finally sends Moana on her way, as does the spirit of her Grandmother, who passes away right as Moana realizes her true calling.

Passing The Threshold Of Adventure

I mean, she LITERALLY HAS TO GET PAST A REEF SURROUNDING HER ISLAND TO BEGIN HER QUEST. (To find Maui and replace the heart of Tafiti) Also, when she meets Maui and convinces him to join her

Belly Of The Whale

Moana fight the Kakamora, realizing that this journey will be perilous and not as easy as she thought.

The Road Of Trials

This is largely the battle with Tomatoa, but also the journey across the ocean, where Maui teaches her to sail, and regains his powers of shapeshifting with his hook. This is also when Maui and Moana fail at their first attempt to get the heart to Tafiti, blocked by the demon TaKa.

The Meeting With The Goddess/Atonement With The Father/Abyss/Apotheosis

After Maui flees in their failure, Moana communes with her ancestors, especially her grandmother and realizes that she is a hero and she needs to finish her quest. (I weep, and weep like a tiny baby.)

Here the hero is supposed to have a greater realization about themselves and their quest, here, Moana know at last, who she is and what she wants.

The Final Boon

Moana restores the heart! She wins! Also, she realizes that trauma is not the defining portion of a person’s life and soul, when she returns the heart and it is revealed that Taka is the heartless Tafiti.

The Master Of Two Worlds/The Freedom To Live

Upon returning to her people, Moana teaches them to voyage once again, and takes her place as the next chief. Also, Maui returns to his place as a great hero.

I left a few categories and steps that didn’t apply, but otherwise, it’s a pretty straightforward telling and I love it so much. Frozen II also fits pretty well, but we’re mostly going to be talking about feminism and matrilineal lines of power when we get there.

Next time, I do my best to finish a movie that I feel asleep watching on planes like 4 times, Ralph Breaks The Internet

Cosplay Corner: March Disneybound Challenge Week 4

4 weeks! We’re almost done! Seriously, while I’m probably going to go back to my old trick of closet cosplaying once a week, it will be nice to go back to my old toss a little black dress on and run out the door in the morning ways. It’s just less time consuming.

Challenge

Anyhoodle! Let’s talk this week in Disneybounding!

March 21st

Theme: Moana Character

Character: Ta Fiti

Tefiti

It snowed.

Again.

So, my planned outfit for the day, (it was Maui and it was pretty great!) which was much springier got jettisoned. I came up with this Ta Fiti look quickly instead. I’m wearing a green sweater over my pink dress, and uh, that’s it. It’s actually a cute look that I kind of intend to repeat.

TeFiti Bound

March 22nd

Theme: Frozen

Character: Anna (Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Version)

Anna Snow

Anna might be the character I’ve Disneybounded the most, because I love her and find her clothes adorable. Anyway, this one was sorta lazy, but this blue top was the right shade, and again, it had snowed and I was staying at my mom’s so, my choices were limited.

Anna Snowbound

March 23rd

Theme: Rule Breaker

Character: Anya from Anastasia

Anya

love the movie Anastasia, and so I decided to do my rule breaker as Anya, the lost amnesiac orphan girl who is actually a lost princess. Anyway, I’m wearing jeans, and a brown tee shirt and my big baggy trenchcoat/blazer. I think it works.

Anya Bound

March 24th

Theme: Disney Dogs

Character: Jock from Lady And The Tramp

I didn’t post this one because I forgot, but I uh, managed to throw this together. The tee shirt is a Beatles tee (so, Northern English, not Scottish, but I thought it was cute.) with some black and grey in it. I’m also wearing red yoga pants, though you can’t see them here. I don’t have a picture though because my phone was being weird this morning.

March 25th

Theme: Alice in Wonderland

Character: The White Rabbit

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406428909371 (1).JPG

I didn’t get off my couch much on Sunday, so I decided to just skip it and for this section of the blog, throwback to my Fall Dapper Day outfit as the White Rabbit. I’m wearing a large white circle skirt, a gold tank top, red belt and sweater, I have my hair up in buns to be ears, and I’m wearing a “pocket watch” necklace. TADA! (Also, that’s Juli as the Chesire Cat!)

March 26th

Theme: Cinderella Characters

Character: Cinderella

Cinderella

I was obviously going to do Cinderella for this one. I decided to lean into the 2014 gown, since I have that blue top with the flower cut outs all over it. I went with brown for the base because of Cinderella’s “servant” outfit having a brown base.

Cinderella Bound

March 27th

Theme: 90’s Style

Character: Julie “The Cat” Gaffney from D2: The Mighty Ducks & D3: The Mighty Ducks 

Julie The Cat

OK, so I initially ordered a tee shirt that was meant to look like a Duck Jersey with Julie’s number (96) on the back. But it was out of stock and wasn’t going to make it here in time. But here’s the thing: D2 is my favorite movie of all time. I’ve watched it about 10,000 times. And Julie “The Cat” Gaffney is my favorite character in said movie. So this was kind of a no brainer.

Even though she only has like 5 lines. But really except for Charlie Conway none of the kids have like huge roles in that movie.

Anyway, I decided to lean into the “Team USA” aspect of the movie, because Julie was brought in as a ringer when The Ducks headed to the Junior Goodwill games. She then spent most of the tournament on the bench because Goldberg or whatever. BUT she is instrumental in the win of the final game, blocking a shot in the final shootout with Iceland, by hotshot Gunnar Stahl. (FUN FACT! The same actor who played Gunnar came back in D3 to play the goalie of the varsity team the Ducks challenge, Scooter Vanderbilt, who hits on Julie a couple of times there.) But you all know this because you’ve all seen the movie.

So, I’m wearing a blue tank top and skirt and a red cardigan, which, actually are kind of 90’s looking, but mostly just are USA colors. Julie is actually only a Duck for like 2 scenes. (In D3, when they go to prep school, they become The Warriors for the first 2/3s of the movie) Anyway, DUCKS FLY TOGETHER!

Julie The Cat Bound

Top 5 Disney “I Want” Songs

So, I’m going back to Disney World in a few weeks.

I’m going four times this year.

I know.

I know.

Anyway…because of that, I’ve been listening to a lot of Disney music. And I started thinking about Disney’s place in musical theater canon. Some of the best “showtunes” of the past 30 years have come from the House of Mouse, which is why I’m convinced that Disney is (part of) why I became a theater geek. I instinctively understood how musicals worked by the age of 4 because of how many times I’d watched The Little Mermaid. (A LOT of times, you guys. A LOT)

So, I’m starting with “I Want” songs. An “I Want” song is sung by a protagonist and states what their goal is. It usually takes place in Act 1, after the opening. Some classic “I Wants,” include, “Somewhere That’s Green,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “Something’s Coming,” “One Song Glory,” and “The Wizard And I.” (See, I went modern for a couple!)

5. “Someday My Prince Will Come” – Snow White

Snow White 1

I gave it a spot for being the original, and it really is a lovely piece of music. Snow White’s trilling soprano is dated now, and annoying always but the chirpy bird-like sound is a nice thematic touch. Snow White is dreaming of escape, this is what she wants, it’s clear and pretty and kind of perfect for her.

4. “How Far I’ll Go” – Moana

MoanaPortrait.0

Only this low because it’s new, and we don’t know how we’ll all feel about it in a few decades. (Good, I’m betting on good.) I love this song. Lin-Manuel writes good “I Want.” (“My Shot,” and “It Won’t Be Long Now,” LISTEN TO THEM. I will wait.) But when I heard this song for the first time, I was blown away. We know Moana so perfectly through this song, not just it’s lyrics, but it’s rising and falling melody and pulsing rhythm. So good!

3. “I Can Go The Distance” – Hercules

Hercules-Go-The-Distance

Hercules is my number one most underrated Disney Soundtrack, and this song is another one that gives us such a clear picture of our hero. We know everything that Hercules wants, what drives him, from this song. It’s also a great heroic theme, those soaring horns and strings, so beautiful!

2. “Belle (Reprise)” – Beauty And The Beast

Belle

Look, it LITERALLY has the phrase, “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere” in it. We’ve already met Belle before this reprise, but it’s still a good one! This is her thesis statement. Also…Mencken

1. “Part Of Your World” – The Little Mermaid 

Ariel-in-Her-Cave-in-The-Little-Mermaid

Sometimes I think that “Part Of Your World” is the platonic ideal of an “I Want” song, and it’s definitely one of my favorites ever. My eyes and insides have their own reactions to this song. (I cry, a lot, with wild abandon.) Ariel’s greatest desire is to be human, to experience a world she’s only ever caught glimpses of, that she doesn’t really understand, but desperately yearns to. The song also has the secret weapon of Jodi Benson’s voice, which is exceptional. That belt is insane, when she hits, “when’s it my turn?” if your heart doesn’t just melt to that little red haired fish girl, I don’t know if you have a heart.

Runners Up: “For The First Time In Forever” from Frozen, “Almost There,” from The Princess And The Frog, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” from The Lion King, “Out There” from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.

Not Disney But Should Be Mentioned Because It’s One Of The Greatest “I Want” Songs Ever: “Journey To The Past” from Anastasia. 

 

 

Just Keep Swimming

Dory

Finding Dory is a highly anticipated sequel. I wish that was something that I could get more hyped for, but to be perfectly honest, it’s pretty rote.

But it’s always worth checking out what Pixar has brewing, knowing that even at their worst, they’re delivering streamlined, emotional, family entertainment.

Inside Out is probably my favorite Pixar movie, and it replaced Finding Nemo at the top. So, obviously, Finding Dory had a lot to deliver on. And it gets there, almost.

Focusing on Dory’s origin story was a good track to take, and learning that she came from an aquarium is a fun little twist. Meeting her parents, and learning that her memory problems have been an issue her whole life was an even better one. And of course, it really is incredible how perfectly Pixar has managed to create water environments, and we see some more new ones this time.

Ellen DeGeneres remains a treasure, and her performance as Dory perfectly heartwarming. I didn’t cry though, and all the greatest Pixar films must cause tears, which ranks this one lower than it should be from a technical standpoint. But like most Pixar films, totally worth checking out on it’s own merits. The new characters, a cantacterous octopus, a pair of friendly wales, and some lazy Sea Lions were also great.

The short, Piper was completely adorable and absolutely the most stunning animation from Pixar yet! It’s worth the price of admission.

Rankings!

  1. The Nice Guys
  2. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  3. Captain America: Civil War
  4. X-Men: Apocalypse
  5. Finding Dory
  6. Alice Through The Looking Glass

Trailers

Pete’s Dragon : I was sobbing through this trailer. Just uncontrollable weeping as soon as Pete said, “I wasn’t alone. I had Elliot.” Ugh, gut punch.

Moana: The guys next to me whispered to his wife, “I know that voice.” “The Rock?” “No, the guy singing…” “Honey, that’s the guy from Hamilton.” “Oh right.” But in and of itself, even without the Lin-Manuel factor, it’s looks wonderful. Really looking forward to it.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life really seems to be climbing the list of must sees. So much of the trailer reminds me of the solid kids movies of the early 90’s, and I’m glad that scene is returning to cinemas.