Moana

Dwayne Johnson’s most beloved role as an animated Polynesian demigod – if, that is, you are a nine-year-old girl or the father of one. But did Hemal like it?

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In a bit of a departure from our usual fare, this week we’re looking at an animated film. But for many Americans (ie – nine-year-old girls and their parents), this may very well be the movie The Rock is best known for. Released in 2016 by everyone’s favorite multinational entertainment conglomerate, the Walt Disney Corporation, Moana tells the story of a plucky young girl venturing into the forbidden and dangerous seas of a fictional Polynesian ocean world to save her beloved island village from a mysterious corruption.

In another departure, unable to rely on his mighty physical presence to do the heavy lifting for him, The Rock is forced to bring depth, charm and interiority to a lovable but flawed character through voice acting. Who knew?

In addition to Dwayne Johnson’s vocal talents in the role of Maui – who antagonizes but eventually befriends and aids our young hero, Moana – the movie also features some absolute best-in-class musical numbers from Lin Manuel Miranda.

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