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Directors: Ron Clements, Don Hall, John Masker, Chris Williams
Cast: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scheizinger, Oscar Kightley
Five stars (out of five)
I guessed that the voice of Moana’s father, Chief Tui, was Temuera Morrison but I did not peg any other familiar actors. So I was delighted to find out afterwards that two of my favourite characters were voiced by New Zealanders.
You probably know Rachel House as the tenacious social worker in Hunt for the Wilderpeople and she is up to her scene stealing ways here as Moana’s feisty granny, Gramma Tala. Gramma Tala is the keeper of the islands’ legends and she is the person who introduces Moana to the story of Maui and recognises that she is the one that the sea has chosen to right a wrong done by Maui.
Soon Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) has sailed off to locate Maui, who is in more of a trickster mood than being a hero of men. He also sings a catchy little number called You’re Welcome, which is as good an introduction to a character as I have seen.
Maui wants to ditch Moana and take her boat but the sea is her friend so ditching her is not easy.
Adventures follow, one involving a crab, Tamatoa, with a love of shiny things and a need to sing. Best of all his voice is that of Jemaine Clement doing yet another Bowie impersonation.
While I adored House and Clement, Johnson is the revelation here. He is really funny.
- Christine Powley