Moana is Out in Theaters Now!

Moana

By Erin

Moana. ©2016 DisneyMoana. ©2016 Disney

Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows exactly why.

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), a larger-than-life trickster and shapeshifter who was inspired by multitudes of varied tales and legends about him throughout the Oceania region. He can pull up whole islands from the sea with his fishhook; he has the power to slow down the sun. Maui is on his own journey of self-discovery and he reluctantly guides Moana in her quest to become a master wayfinder and save her people. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, she fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.

Tenacious teenager Moana (voice of Auliʻi Cravalho) recruits a demigod named Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) to help her become a master wayfinder and sail out on a daring mission to save her people. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker, produced by Osnat Shurer, and featuring music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i, “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Disney ©2016

For as long as Moana can remember, through the stories of her ancestors that her grandmother shares, the island they live on had always been lush and beautiful. Now everything is dying out. There are no more fish to be found anywhere in the reefs. Coconuts are dried out and rotting. Plants and flowers aren’t blooming. The island is growing dark. The ocean is calling Moana, but her father forbids her from going out into the ocean. She knows she needs to go for it though to help save her people. Through the tales that her aging grandmother tells her, she learns about Maui. Demigod of the wind and the sea who attempted to steal the heart of Te Fiti. The heart is lost in the process though and Maui disappears. Moana’s grandmother knows Moana is their only hope and encourages her to listen to her heart. What happens next? Go see the movie to find out! It’s way more magical than I could ever make it by telling you the whole story here.

MOANA - (Pictured) Grandma Tala and Moana. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Grandma Tala and Moana. ©2016 Disney

Both young and old will fall in love with Moana. This isn’t your typical Disney princess movie. Moana is a  sweeping magical musical adventure that kicks the old Disney princess mold and brings us something that feels fresh and alive. There is no prince charming or any kind of love interest. She is determined to become a master wayfinder and is a bit of a tomboy. Both boys and girls can fall in love with this Disney Princess and learn to listen to their own intuition, to follow their heart and that working together is the only way to make big things happen in this world. Other characters like Pua and Hei Hei will have you laughing out loud too with their actions. This film is full of heart, but it’s also full of some really great laugh out loud comedy too. You will also want to go out and buy them at your nearest Disney Store, they are just that lovable and oh so cute!

MOANA - (Pictured) Pua and Hei Hei ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Pua and Hei Hei ©2016 Disney

The soundtrack is also something you will want to look out for. It is filled with catchy songs and island music. Lin-Manuel Miranda did an awesome job of capturing the heart and soul of the story of Moana. I absolutely love and adore the music and so will you. Also, come on everyone, The Rock is Maui! How can you not? He is the most sexiest man alive, er I mean demi god!

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This Thanksgiving make sure you go out and see this one, you will be thankful you did! 😉 Happy Thanksgiving!

Moana is out in theaters everywhere now! 

Like MOANA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/disneymoana

Follow MOANA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneymoana

Visit the official MOANA website here: http://movies.disney.com/moana

Disney’s Pete’s Dragon Flies into Theaters! #PetesDragon

Pete’s Dragon

By Jonelle

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Friendly Dragons? Is There Such A Thing?

On the heels of the releases of The Jungle Book and Finding Dory earlier this year, Disney Studios is working its magic once again with a reimagining of the 1977 classic film, Pete’s Dragon. Other than the name of the movie and the main characters Pete and Elliot, nothing else is similar between these two films. Fans of the 1977 version will instantly fall in love with and appreciate the beauty of this version too.

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Pete’s Dragon tells the story of a young boy, orphaned by a tragic accident. Lost and alone in the local woods, he runs into a legendary Millhaven dragon, which he names Elliot. Pete and Elliot come to rely on each other, not only for safety, but for friendship and love. Elliot acts more of a family pet, a protector for Pete, than an evil beast hell bent on scaring local hunters.  When threatened, instead of fighting back, Elliot uses his magic to disappear.  You can’t help but hope for Pete and Elliot to find a home of their very own, they already are family. The way Pete and Elliot love each other is so heartwarming.  It goes beyond legend, beyond lore and beyond “species.”

Oakes Fegley is Pete in Disney's PETE'S DRAGON, the story of a boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just happens to be a dragon.

As a child, park ranger Grace Meacham grew up hearing tall tales from her father Meachem, played by the legendary actor Robert Redford, about the fierce dragon he encountered in the woods years before.

He shares his story with the local town children, who love to listen to legend and lore. Much to the chagrin of Grace, who knows the forest like “she knows the back of her hand” and has never, herself, discovered the mysterious being. 

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Sitting Down with the Cast of Disney’s “Reimagining” of Pete’s Dragon #PetesDragon

Sitting Down with the Cast of Disney’s “Reimagining” of Pete’s Dragon

By Jonelle

When you walk up to the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, you walk up on a red carpet, I imagine similar to those you’d find at movie premieres. Today, I was going to meet the cast of Disney’s upcoming Pete’s Dragon, out August 12th.  Pete’s Dragon (2016) is about a boy, named Pete living alone in the woods with his friend Elliot, who happens to be a not so mythical dragon. Many of us grew up with the original 1977 film. I remember watching that version when I was a little girl. The Saturday nights of my childhood were reserved for family classics like Pippi Longstocking and Pete’s Dragon. Aside from the names and theme of “what makes a family”, this retelling of Pete’s Dragon is an entirely different film from the original. This sentiment was echoed by both Ms. Bryce Dallas Howard, and director Mr. David Lowery.

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We met with Ms. Howard first. The moment she walked into the room, it lit up. She was so cheery, sweet and fun, and her laugh was truly infectious. She talked about how she grew up with the original as well and that this version was, “not a remake” and to please help them with sharing that. It’s a “reimagining” of the original, because nothing is the same except for the title Pete’s Dragon.

When asked about the difference between working with dinosaurs versus working with dragons, she said that the films obviously had very different tones and that this time she got to wear more comfortable shoes, (in inference to Jurassic World and the “running in heels controversy”)

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As a mom, this role was very emotional for her. She loved working with and was very protective of the kids in the film, Oaks Fegley who plays Pete, and Oona Laurenece who plays Natalie. She sweetly mentioned how, “Oaks will one day be a director and Oona, President.” She talked about the themes of the film, to believe in magic, that magic is possible, and about the miracle of family especially, “what it takes to find your family when you think you’ve lost your family.” As a child she was always encouraged to use her imagination. In the film, Grace’s father Meacham tells her, “Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”

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Director David Lowery was told by Disney execs that they didn’t want just a “remake”, they wanted something entirely different. This is exactly what he gave them. Because this version is very different from the original, film lovers will be able to appreciate both. It’s a story that will be loved by new generations of audiences and will win the hearts of the fans of the original (like me). Mr. Lowery wanted to make sure that the time period of this film was ambiguous, and yes, it is a “period piece”. You can tell that this story takes place sometime in the 1970’s, maybe to pay homage to the 1977 original?

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Mr. Lowery mentioned how he loves stories about families, kids, animals and mythical creatures. It’s his love of animals that inspired his creation of a fury, more “dog like” family pet dragon (Elliot) than the scaly dragons we see in past films. His vision of Elliot makes you want to find a pet dragon of your very own.

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