Moana, THANK YOU! (BluRay and Digital HD Review)

Did you know Moana had six older brothers?

Well she did until a direction change in her character eliminated them.  Missing from the movie was a sailing race Moana had against them all which she wins and proves her sailing prowess, but her father, unwilling to risk his daughter on the open sea, denies her the rightful place she earns.  Her brother, Wakaroa, sticks up for her but is still denied.  There were other scenes that didn’t quite make it into the movie for one reason or another and directors Ron Clements and John Musker explain why.  But what is fascinating is that these aren’t just tiny clips but much more developed scenes in terms of story and voice primarily using storyboard illustrations as animation.

Disney's Moana is released on BluRay and DVD on 3/7 but you'll want to get the BluRay or Digital HD release (already out) for all the great bonus material
Disney’s Moana is released on BluRay and DVD on 3/7 but you’ll want to get the BluRay or Digital HD release (already out) for all the great bonus material

Deleted scenes are only one of the many bonus features that are included on the BluRay and Digital HD release.  Another great bonus is the deleted song “Warrior Face” that was cut from the film as well.  In it is a sequence featuring Moana and Maui in the underworld where Maui is teaching Moana how to face the challenges of the underworld creatures.  What’s even more thrilling for fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is that the voices for this song are Chris Jackson (George Washington) and Phillipa Soo (Eliza Schulyer).  It goes a little bit beyond the version you hear in the outtake on the deluxe soundtrack for even more of a treat.

MOANA village costume designs. Artist: Neysa Bové, Visual Development Artist.
MOANA village costume designs. Artist: Neysa Bové, Visual Development Artist.

Included on the release is a Maui Mini-Movie (which happens to of course showcase Mini Maui, too so maybe that makes it a Mini Maui Mini-Movie?).  The short short features the voices of the original cast and is just a fun story about Maui, Moana, and Maui’s ongoing relationship (or lack thereof) with the ocean.  Of course the original theatrical short Inner Workings which was released with Moana in theaters is included – a fantastic and funny take on what happens inside our bodies as we react to the world around us.  But there is STILL so much more!

MOANA effects progression image, featuring Animation (top), Simulation (middle), and Render (bottom) passes.
MOANA effects progression image, featuring Animation (top), Simulation (middle), and Render (bottom) passes from the Maui Mini-Movie.

There are the standard featurettes about the “making of” Moana including one that features on the culture of the Pacific Islands, one that talks about the unique costume designs for the characters, and the challenges and technological achievements in animation while making this film.  The music video of “How Far I’ll Go” is included along with “How Far I’ll Go Around the World” which reveals the song in a variety of different languages including Polish, Hebrew, Russian, Czech, and Japanese just to name a few of the many it was translated into.  Of course, I loved the Easter Egg feature that showcased some of the little gems honoring past Disney animated hits embedded in the movie.  And there was a cute featurette called “Things You Didn’t Know About…” with the directors, main stars, and music creators of the film doing a lightning round of questions.  Did you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s favorite Disneyland ride is Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride?

But as a huge fan of the music, I was thrilled they did a segment on the making of the songs and soundtrack for the film.  Featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’I, and Marc Mancina you really get a feel for how each one is a musical genius in their own right and how “organically” they worked together to create the magic you hear on the screen.  The love of the Pacific Island culture is evident in the care and detail that went into making this film.  In every aspect of the development of this film, the home release allows us to see the detail that went into the work in such a fascinating way – from the music to the costumes to the setting to the story – all that is left is to say “thank you” to Disney for giving us this gift beyond just this amazing film.

And we all know what Maui would say…

TwitterInstagram Facebook EmailPinterest

Save

Save

2 thoughts on “Moana, THANK YOU! (BluRay and Digital HD Review)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s