In celebration of #MoanaMondays, Walt Disney Animation Studios has released the second film clip from the studio's newest Polynessian epic. Moana is to sail into theaters in less than one month, on November 23rd, just in time for Thanksgiving! Watch Dwayne Johnson's Maui serenading our heroin Moana in the first musical film clip entitled "You're Welcome" after the break!
Courtesy of /Film.com, we have a quick recap of the context of the film clip:
"Animator Jorgue Ruiz explained to us that the scene takes place after Moana and Maui have been caught in a storm, only to wash up on a mysterious island. It’s daylight, and Moana hears someone approaching. She realizes it’s Maui, so she grabs Hei Hei, ducks behind her boat, and begins to practice her pitch to him.
Maui appears and spots the boat. “A boat, a boat! The gods have given me a boat!” He picks up the boat and sees Moana and Hei Hei underneath it. He’s so startled he drops the boat. When he picks it up again, he sees Hei Hei buried up to his neck in the sand, but Moana has disappeared."
Watch "You're Welcome," MOANA Film Clip:
I'll be honest- I'm not loving the song or how Maui has been at the center of all of Moana's marketing. I believe that my initial distaste for the new song "You're Welcome" is mainly due to not being fond of Dwayne Johnson's singing voice and not having enough context for the piece. I also wish that the first song we would hear from the film would be one our protagonist sings. I understand that Johnson's name is a financial draw for the film in that aligning his name with the film's title could potentially bring in a "wider" audience. However, I strongly believe that Moana already has strong appeal with family and millennial audiences due to three key attributes: the Walt Disney Animation Studios name, the introduction of a new Disney Princess, AND being a musical.
I don't think that advertising Johnson's name will bring in as large an audience as would playing up the history of the Disney Princess franchise and the significance of the film's themes pertaining to today's audiences. After all, Frozen didn't do well because of Olaf's goofiness (which can be directly compared to Maui's grandiose personality). Frozen did well because of the creative musical numbers and links with the musical theater community (Jonathan Groff and Idina Menzel carry significant weight). This isn't to say that without context Moana has to be the next Frozen, but it does in a post-Frozen world.
Don't get me wrong, I am still very excited for Moana. I just wish that more emphasis would be put on the title character rather than her sidekick.
For centuries, the greatest sailors in the world masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, 3,000 years ago, their voyages stopped for a millennium – and no one knows exactly why.
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