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I have long been a Disney fan and many of their animated films.  The one I love right now is Disney’s Moana, which was released late last year.

Ever Heard of Moana?

I had seen the trailer for Moana before its theatrical release.  Despite being a Disney fan, the trailer didn’t draw me in enough to make me want to see it at the theater.   Just like the trailer for Frozen was focused on Olaf’s slapstick jokes, I thought Moana was an adventure film with a heavy focus on Maui as the comedic relief.

It turned out that I was wrong about Moana.  While the film did not generate the same buzz as Frozen, Moana tells a compelling story with a number of great, catchy songs.  I can imagine just how visually stunning the picture must have looked on the big screen.

Although Frozen is the highest grossing animated film for Disney, I think Moana has the edge over Frozen. In fact, I think Moana is better than Zootopia, Wreck it Ralph, Big Hero 6, and even Tangled.  I actually think Moana is easily one of the best Disney films since the Lion King.

Why I Watched The Movie

Although I wasn’t impressed with the Moana trailer, I decided to rent it because I had a free FandangoNow rental code from T-Mobile.  I wanted to watch something lighthearted and Moana seemed like a safe choice.  It’s a Disney film – how bad can it be?

By the time I finished the movie…

My jaws dropped.  It’s not how bad can it be.

It was more like, “Why didn’t I watch this movie sooner?”

I love the songs and the movie so much that I got both the soundtrack and the DVD.  As someone who doesn’t feel a need to own a physical DVD or a soundtrack (digital is fine, and I can count the number of physical discs I have on one hand), it’s a testament to how great of an animated film I think Moana is.

I even watched all the behind the scenes bonus features.  I couldn’t remember the last time I did that since the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Near Perfection?

There are some incredible scenes in this movie.

Moana as a kid at the beginning of the movie…

The what I dubbed as Moana’s “self actualization” scene, with the memorable “Song of the Ancestors”.  There is something emotionally powerful and stirring about the scene.

I won’t post links as I think these scenes are far more powerful when they are watched in its entirety than in individual parts.

Aside from some great scenes, there is so. much. to. love. about this film.

From the free-spirit, determination, and the evolution of the character, to the nature connection, the view into the Polynesian culture, and the visually stunning animation, there is just so much that is done right about this movie.

Did I also mention how realistic the hair is?  Or how stunningly beautiful in the way the film animated the water and the ocean?

Because of the brilliant casting, music, and gorgeous animation, I considered Moana to be on my list as one of the best Disney’s animated films, ever.

Go Watch it!

I don’t want to spoil the film, so all I can say is this:  If you are flying somewhere and see Moana on the movie list, give it a chance. After all, a theme of the movie is also one of exploration.

Who knows, maybe this movie will surprise you too.