What could be better than getting to listen to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music and words in a Disney film? Listening to ADDITIONAL TRACKS of Lin-Manuel Miranda singing outtakes you can’t hear in the movie. The soundtrack in and of itself is beautifully done. The score by Mark Mancina and the collaboration between Lin-Manuel and Opetaia Foa’i on the songs will make you sing them over and over (I have – I can’t stop singing all of them). But there are some serious hidden treasures on the deluxe version of the soundtrack. More than just additional tracks or covers, the deluxe version has an entire disc worth of extras including demos sung by Lin-Manuel himself and outtakes of songs dropped from the film. There are even a couple of karaoke versions of the songs at the end.
Title: Moana (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Deluxe Edition)
Artist: Various (featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Publisher: Walt Disney Records
“Unstoppable” – Sung by Lin-Manuel Miranda, this song introduces the demi-god Maui in a different way. Based on Lin-Manuel’s response to a tweet, it was dropped from the film because of a change in direction of the story which makes sense. Instead of searching for Maui and restoring the heart of Te Fiti, the song references an demon named “Te Po, a brutal land spirit who devoured Maui whole.” The song is told from Moana’s perspective and she calls on others to find the Maui within them to restore their sailing ways.
“More”and “More (reprise)” – Sung by Marcy Hariell who starred in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s other Tony Award winning play In the Heights, both “More” and its reprise are songs for Moana. Just based on the lyrics and the music, it seems like these are songs that might have been used in the same spot in the movie as “How Far I’ll Go” and its reprise. “More” focuses on Moana’s desire to leave her island and how she feels trapped by island life. It’s an anthem for those who feel trapped by their circumstances and know there’s something else in life waiting for them. It’s a GREAT song. A little more peppy and less sweeping than “How Far I’ll Go” but so good.
The reprise summarizes Moana’s deep feelings and grief for her grandmother’s death and acts as an impetus for her to leave the island. It’s a beautiful ballad that has a lot of emotional depth. There’s one line though that makes me wonder if in this version her mother dies. The line in the outtake is, “She named me after the sea / She believed in me.” Wouldn’t it be Moana’s mother who would name her? A small point to question.
“Warrior Face” – This is a montage training song. Sung by Lin-Manuel Miranda, you can imagine Maui taking Moana under her wing and helping to prepare her for battle. To be fair, it is unclear who is training her. It could have been her father or even a character who was cut from the film. It’s also unclear who she is training to battle against, so perhaps this was another change in story. A good song, but not as powerful as the others.
The remaining songs in the deluxe editions are Lin-Manuel Miranda demos. It’s fun to hear him singing as different characters in the movie, especially “Where You Are” where he sings everybody’s part. His version of “Shiny” I thought was even better than what made it in the film. Definitely this deluxe edition is worth every penny. And while I love digital editions, the packaging for the two-disc set is beautiful and better yet contains the words to the songs in a pull-out booklet. If you are a fan of Disney animated musicals, Lin-Manuel Miranda, or just great songs, grab this one!