I always wanted to see Moana ever since I laid eyes on the trailer last year, as it seemed like Disney took the setting from Lilo and Stitch and traded in the aliens for folklore. Now after receiving a review copy of Moana: Ultimate Collector’s Edition that contains the 3D Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy, I was able to see this fun, music-filled masterpiece for myself that I highly recommend.
Be sure to check out fellow editor Chris Pandolfi’s review of the theatrical release of the film for all the plot details and more, which leaves me free to go into this collection and my take on it. I have to say Chris nailed it in his review, as I feel the same way about the movie, it’s characters, songs, and just overall fun. Thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame helping out, the songs have that magical oomph that’s a perfect fit here, and will most likely have viewers grooving to the beat or being swept away by emotion.
Thanks to this collection having the option to experience it in 3D, this version pulls you into Moana’s world even more with it’s well-used 3D effects to generate a nice feeling of depth without going too crazy with it. This is apparent with the view distances, when Moana comes into contact with the ocean, and the climactic action scenes scattered throughout the film. It’s always amazing to see how the folks at Disney use this effect and this movie doesn’t disappoint with it. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a nice amount of special features such as audio commentary by the directors, loads of behind the scenes features with the cast and crew, and more. But I’d like to point out some of the ones that stood out the most to me.
First off, there’s this awesome short that was shown with Moana at theaters titled “Inner Workings”. The story follows the struggle of a bored office worker that’s torn between following his brain to work like a robot, and his heart that wants to dance, have fun and live life. While it’s not as epic as Paperman and that team’s follow up with Feast, this short is still pretty amazing and well worth watching as the different styles of animation and story will move viewers for sure. Then if you didn’t get enough of Moana and Maui in the movie, there’s the bonus short “Gone Fishing” that stars both of them as Maui goes on a quest to catch a fish to eat. What follows is one crazy mishap after another as Maui tries to catch the fish only to have Moana keep him from doing so. I thought this was a fun little extra, though I wish it was longer than three minutes.
Moana: Ultimate Collector’s Edition is a sweet deal for those looking for some spirited, Disney fun and want multiple ways of experiencing it. No matter how you view it, the 3D and 2D version both deliver high definition excitement and good times with its fun characters, moving songs, and a cliched but still awesome story. So head out there and catch a wave to pick this one up for your collection, and see how far you’ll go on this adventure.