Thanks to Marvel, we moviegoers have become conditioned to expect something after the movie credits begin rolling. We expect a short teaser scene, an outtake, a lead-in to the next in the series, SOMETHING. But Moana does something completely different that I found quite refreshing.
The credits roll as the usually do, but with items from the movie (Maui’s ax, Moana’s ornamental headdress, etc.) in the background so beautifully and realistically rendered that I was not entirely 100% sure if it was CGI or the real thing. It wasn’t until some of the items became more fantastical and clearly straight from the movie that I even began to suspect they had been digitally rendered. This, oddly enough, says SO much about Moana and how successful the team creating this is with their new movie. You can see just how much care for authenticity and attention to detail went into this movie when you literally are looking at items that look so real and authentic you can’t tell fantasy from reality. They have sold you on their vision.
There is so much to recommend about Moana – the music (which, thankfully, I am happy to let roll in my head for years much more than Frozen’s soundtrack), the colors that pop everywhere you look, the heartfelt characters (especially water as its own character with plenty of personality), the fact the female hero gets to actually save the day – but I found myself in awe time and time again not just how much these guys care about telling a story, but how much they CARE, period.
Much has been made about the Oceanic Trust that was set up. Every detail of the movie went through them to make sure it felt authentic. And I guarantee that while you may not be able to tell if anything is out of place, you can certainly FEEL like it is a real place you are following a story in. If anything, I found the fact that a movie led by a group of white dudes could make something this authentic about a culture distinctly not their own a rather promising achievement in 2016.