So I watched Moana and boy, what a lazy movie it was. So full of good ideas, squandered on a passable family movie. And yes, I know it's Disney making a family movie, but it had all these ideas that would make a great story if they were taken more seriously. The premise of the movie is basically the whole world dying because of what someone did and they treat this catastrophic event as an annoyance instead of something actually serious.
The protagonist is Moana, an absolutely average Disney princess type of character that wants to say no to being stuck in a life of safety and luxury. We've seen it a thousand times by now, it's nothing that stands out or even something logical in the long run since these types of sheltered characters do not know anything about the outside world and are in effect useless on their own.
And I have to point this out about her which is one of the many things they didn't bother to clarify. Why is everybody fine with a girl being their leader? Do they have gender equality on this otherwise primitive island? If they do, they never showed it because any other leader we see in their history was a guy. Combined with how she doesn't drown 1 minute after going into the sea with zero experience further proves this movie is empowerment fantasy for little girls instead of a movie where talent and intelligence matter.
But it's OK because the scriptwriter did his worst to plot armor her from any possible danger. Because you see, the gods chose her to be the one who restores the world, thus every time she falls in water, a magical wave takes her on the boat. When she doubts her abilities, the ghosts of her ancestors appear to motivate her. She is essentially a plot device fully controlled by the plot instead of doing what she wants and facing the repercussions of her mistakes.
And if you think calling her the chosen one properly excuses all the nonsense, it doesn't because the gods make no sense. Why did they wait a thousand years to do something about a disaster that has killed most of the islands, and of all people why did they choose a little girl with no skills or experience of the outside world? They never explain it.
Do you know what else they didn't explain? Why her pet pig doesn't grow up. She begins as a little girl and grows up to a teenager, but the damn thing remains a piglet throughout the whole movie. Nobody in the production team gave a damn.
The problems don't even stop there. The first thing she has to do is find Maui, a demigod who has been stuck on a barren island for a thousand years and is the only person who can save the world. He is also the one who doomed it, so that makes sense. Also, for a guy who spent a millennium all alone without something to eat or do on a tiny island, he sure looked fine when she appeared. Disney went so safe and lazy on him that he is nothing but a cool guy who does cool things and has absolutely no sex drive, or psychological trauma for being left alone all this time.
Accompanying them on their journey is a retarded chicken. It's the most annoying comic relief animal I have seen in my life. It's not funny, it causes more trouble than aid, and they never eat it although they never seem to have enough food. How the hell did it get on the boat in the first place? Moana didn't take it with her, it just appeared out of nowhere in the secret cave nobody had been in for centuries. Nobody in the production team gave a damn.
You probably think I am being too harsh on what is supposed to be a dumb movie for kids, when I'm not since they clearly put effort in fleshing out the characters in a way that demands from the story to be better. Moana's father has a good reason for not letting her out in the sea. Maui has a good reason for why he keeps going on adventures and tries to impress the mortals. Even the villain of the movie has a reason for why she is evil. These are really good stuff, and they are ruined by the lazy script.
If the movie was like that in all its aspects, I wouldn't be bothered by it. But when you set it up in a way that obviously raises the bar like that, the disappointment multiplies when you treat your good ideas like a joke. I can easily sum up all these problems as cheap resolutions. Everything is fixed way too fast despite the problems building up for countless years. The father changed his mind way too fast and lets his daughter sail in the sea, Maui changed his mind and returned to help her without even showing us how, and the goddess forgives Maui instantly, despite causing her pain and suffering for a thousand years, as well as wiping out the life of countless islands and filling the sea with monsters. Hell, even the disease that was slowly killing the islands went away in a few seconds despite spreading slowly for centuries.
This movie is so freaking lazy. The pay-off is not worth the build-up, its ideas are not used properly, and all you end up getting is a generic Disney princess and a retarded chicken.