This blog post will explore the amazing music of Moana, one of Disney’s newest animated films. We’ll take a look at the film’s soundtrack and some of the incredible songs that are featured in it. We’ll also explore how the music of Moana fits into the film’s overall story and themes.
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How the music of Moana fits into the film’s story
Disney’s Moana is a 2016 computer-animated musical adventure film about a teenage girl who, with the help of the demigod Maui, sets out to prove herself a master wayfinder and save her people. The film’s songs were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foai, and Mark Mancina, with vocals provided by Auli‘i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, and Jemaine Clement. The music of Moana fits into the film’s story by paralleling Moana’s journey of self-discovery with the process of finding and understanding one’s identity.
The film begins with an ancient tale that sets the stage for Moana’s journey. In the song “We Know the Way,” we learn that Moana’s ancestors were voyagers who travelled across the sea to find new lands. However, they eventually settled on the island of Motunui and stopped voyaging. For generations, Moana’s people have been content to stay on the island, but Moana has always felt drawn to the sea.
In the song “How Far I’ll Go,” we see Moana grappling with her desire to voyager like her ancestors and her feeling that she doesn’t quite fit in on Motunui. She sings about how she longs for something more and how she wonders what is beyond the reef. This song reflectsMoana’s internal conflict between staying on her island or striking out on her own to find her true identity.
The next song, “I AmMoana,” is sung by Dwayne Johnson as Maui. In this song, Maui boastfully tells Moana about all his heroic deeds. He claims credit for everything from creating fire to pulling up islands from beneath the sea. While Maui’s boasting might make him seem like a cocky demigod, it also speaks to his lack of understanding of who he really is. He is so wrapped up in his own legend that he has lost sight of his true identity.
This sets up a confrontation between Maui and Moana in which Maui tries to stop Moana from going on her journey. In the song “You’re Welcome,” we see Maui trying to dissuade Moana by telling her all the things he can do for her instead of letting her go off on her own. However, Moana is not deterred and eventually convinces Maui to help her find Te Fiti’s heart so she can save her people.
The songs inMoanaculminate in a finale that sees both characters facing their fears and embracing their true identities:Moanawill be a master wayfinder andMauican be more than just a legend; he can be a hero again. In the end,the musicofMoanafits into the film’s storyby parallelingMoana’sjourneyof self-discoverywiththe process offindingand understandingone’s identity
How the music reflects the film’s Polynesian setting
The film Moana is set in the Polynesian islands, and the music reflects this in its sound and instrumentation. The film’s composer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, drew inspiration from traditional Polynesian music when creating the score. This is evident in the use of instruments such as the log drums, which are used to represent the sound of the ocean. The film’s songs also make use of traditional Polynesian musical elements, such as chanted vocal melodies and call-and-response singing. However, Miranda also incorporated other musical influences into the score, such as hip hop and Latin music. This results in a score that is both authentically Polynesian and unique to the film.
The film’s use of traditional instruments and sounds
The film’s use of traditional instruments and sounds from the South Pacific islands of Samoa, Fiji, and Tahiti adds to the film’s auditory appeal. Drums, ukuleles, and log drums are utilized throughout the film in diegetic and non-diegetic scenes, providing an oceanic soundscape that furthers Moana’s Polynesian heritage. Additionally, songs such as “We Know the Way” and “Where You Are” feature traditional chanting and singing in order to create a sense of place for the viewer. The music of Moana plays an integral role in transporting listeners to the Polynesian islands without ever having to leave their seats.
The film’s original songs and their meaning
Moana is a 2016 Disney animated film about a young woman who, inspired by her ancestors, sets out on a journey to find a fabled island. The film’s original songs were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foai, and Mark Mancina.
The song “How Far I’ll Go” is about Moana’s journey of self-discovery. She wonders how far she’ll go in life and what she’ll discover about herself along the way.
The song “We Know the Way” is about Moana’s ancestors and their connection to the sea. They know the way to the island and they help guide Moana on her journey.
The song “You’re Welcome” is sung by the character Maui, who is voiced by Dwayne Johnson. The song is about how Maui is responsible for all the good things in Moana’s life, including the sun, the stars, and the sea.
The song “I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)” is sung by Moana’s grandmother Tala. The song is about how Moana is connected to her ancestors and how they will always be with her.
The film’s score and how it enhances the story
The Moana soundtrack was released on November 18, 2016, by Walt Disney Records. The film’s score was composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i. Describing the film’s music, director Ron Clements said, “It’s going to have a lot of elements to it. It will have a bit of a South Pacific flavor to it as well as elements of classic Disney.”
The Moana soundtrack features seven original songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i, and an original song performed by Dwayne Johnson. The film also includes two reprises of songs from the film: “We Know the Way” and “How Far I’ll Go”. Mancina and Foa’i received the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “We Know the Way” at the 89th Academy Awards.
The film’s songs as performed by the cast
Singers Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Rachel House (Gramma Tala), Nicole Scherzinger ( Sina), and Temuera Morrison (Chief Tui) recorded songs for the film. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina wrote the film’s songs, with “How Far I’ll Go” being co-written by Miranda. The audio for “How Far I’ll Go” was recorded by moa bird calls.
Cravalho first sang “How Far I’ll Go” at theWalt Disney Animation Studios nameplate unveiling ceremony on September 2, 2016. The song was first released as a single on November 4, 2016. A music video was released on the same day, which showed Cravalho recording the song in a studio as well as clips from the film.
“We Know The Way” is performed by Foa’i and Opetaia Foai of Te Vaka. The song is played during a montage where Moana and Maui are shown sailing and includes references to various Polynesian navigation techniques. “An Innocent Warrior” is sung by Dwayne Johnson as Maui while he is trying to teach Moana how to sail Te Fiti’s heart. “Logo Te Pate”, also performed by Te Vaka, plays over the end credits.”How Far I’ll Go” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 89th Academy Awards, losing to “City of Stars” from La La Land.
The film’s songs as performed by other artists
In addition to the film’s original songs, “How Far I’ll Go” and “We Know the Way”, Moana features covers of two well-known pop songs, “You’re Welcome” and “Shiny”, both performed by Dwayne Johnson.
The film’s soundtrack also includes several traditional Polynesian songs, such as “Tulou Tagaloa”, which is performed by native Tongan artist Olivia Fa’amuamua.
The film’s soundtrack album
The film’s soundtrack album, simply titled Moana, was released by Walt Disney Records on November 18, 2016. It features songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i, with lyrics in English, Samoan, Tokelauan, and Tuvaluan. The film score was composed by Mancina.
The album debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200, selling 34,000 copies in its first week of release. In its second week, the album rose to number five on the chart, selling 71,000 copies. As of January 2018, the album has sold 761,000 copies in the United States.
The film’s music in the context of Disney’s other animated films
While the film received critical acclaim for its visuals and storytelling, the music of Moana was also praised by critics. The film’s songs were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina, with the film’s score being composed by Mancina. The film’s music has been described as being influenced by the music of the South Pacific, as well as Miranda’s own Caribbean background.
The songs of Moana have been compared favorably to those of other Disney animated films. For example, The Hollywood Reporter’s Justin Lowe praised the film’s songs, writing that they “stand among Disney’s best recent work in the musical genre.” Similarly, The A.V. Club’s A.A. Dowd wrote that the film’s music was “on par with anything in Frozen or Tangled.”
The film’s music as a reflection of Disney’s history
The film’s music as a reflection of Disney’s history
When it comes to animated musicals, few studios can rival Disney. The company has been responsible for some of the most iconic and well-loved songs in cinema history, from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to “The Lion King.” With its 2016 release “Moana,” the studio continued this tradition by creating an unforgettable soundtrack that was both a commercial and critical success.
“Moana” is set in the South Pacific and tells the story of a young woman who sets out on a journey to find a fabled island. Along the way, she meets demigods, battles ancient monsters, and discovers her true identity. The film’s music is heavily influenced by Polynesian culture and features both traditional and contemporary songs.
Disney has a long history of incorporating different musical styles into its films. For example, “The Little Mermaid” featured songs with a Caribbean influence, while “Pocahontas” incorporated Native American music. “Moana” is just the latest example of Disney’s commitment to creating diverse and culturally-relevant soundtracks.
The film’s music is also significant because it marks Disney’s first foray into Polynesian culture. This is an important step for the company, which has been criticized in the past for its portrayal of other cultures (such as Native Americans in “Pocahontas” and Arabs in “Aladdin”). By shine a light on Polynesian culture through its music, Disney is helping to ensure that these underrepresented cultures are given a platform to be heard.