Review: “Moana” Blu-ray

Before we get too far into this review, let’s get something out of the way really quickly. Walt Disney Studios is on an incredible run. I’m not sure there has even been anything like this in the entertainment sector. Everything they create right now is doing well financially, with critics and with moviegoers. They come up with a plan and they execute it. The run continued with Moana as nearly everyone seemed to love it. It was clearly successful at the box office with over $240,000,000 in domestic ticket sales as of March of this year. It was also a big hit with critics and movie watchers with a Tomatometer score of over 95%.

Those are pretty impressive numbers, and it’s really easy to why it was so successful. It has some of the best 3D graphics ever produced, there is a variety of very memorable and fantastic music, a nice story that is fun; and while it’s pretty easy to predict where the story will end, the entire package works so well together. Disney Studios obviously had another great plan and hit another one out of the park. Beginning today (March 7, 2017), you can now enjoy Moana at home as it’s releasing to Blu-ray.

I’m sure you’ll be interested in knowing how the Blu-ray compares to the theater experience. Let’s start with the impressive transfer. It looks even better than I remembered, which is saying something as I had very fond memories of the vibrant landscapes and the water is sparkling and just amazing to look at. There are so many vivid details that jump off the screen — everything from the hair of the characters to the precise environmental details. While there were certainly a great number of animated films released to Blu-ray in the past few years, but I would be hard-pressed to say that I can remember any of them looking any better. Along with the graphics, the audio is nearly equally impressive. The soundtrack is DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1. It sounds fantastic at home with great music, clear voiceovers and the sound effects are really outstanding. As an example, there is a scene that centers around a storm and the thunder, rain and waves crashing really draw you in. Moana on Blu-ray is really superb in every way.

With Moana being as good as it is, I’m not sure you would need much in the way of extra incentives. I’m sure you’ll probably already want to add it to your Blu-ray collection. If for some reason you are on the fence, the Blu-ray is packed with extras as well:

Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray & Digital 3D/HD/SD:

  • Theatrical Short Film: “Inner Workings” – With introduction by the filmmakers, is the story of the internal struggle between a man’s pragmatic, logical side and his free-spirited, adventurous half. Created by a small team at Walt Disney Animation Studios in a unique, fast-paced style that blends CG and traditional hand-drawn animation, the short explores the importance of finding balance in daily life.
  • Maui Mini-Movie: “Gone Fishing” – When Maui decides it’s time to take charge of the ocean and catch his next meal, Moana must show him the error of his ways … with a little help from her friends!
  • Voice of the Islands – An in-depth look at how Pacific Island people and cultures inspired the filmmakers to create the story of “Moana.”
  • Things You Didn’t Know About …
    • Meet the stars of “Moana” in this dynamic Q&A featuring Dwayne Johnson, newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho, and famed animation directors Ron and John.
    • Meet the musical team behind “Moana” in this fascinating Q&A featuring Opetaia Foa‘i, Mark Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
  • Island Fashion – Find out how costume designer Neysa Bové took on the unique challenge of creating costumes using materials and techniques native to the islands of Oceania.
  • They Know the Way: Making the Music of “Moana” – Musicians Opetaia Foa‘I, Marc Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda take us on a personal journey through their involvement in the movie and how it changed their lives.
  • Fishing for Easter Eggs – Dive deep into the ocean and fish for the Easter Eggs hidden by the animators at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
  • The Elements of … – This series of four mini-docs explores the technical achievements behind some of the ground-breaking effects used in the film.
    • Mini Maui – Meet “Mini Maui,” Maui’s tattoo sidekick. Animated by legendary hand-drawn animator Eric Goldberg, we explore how the 2D world collides with CG animation to bring the demigod’s tattoos to life.
    • Water – In the movie, the ocean is a character. This piece explores how the water is given a personality, along with the technical feats of creating a believable ocean landscape farther than the eye can see.
    • Lava – Te Kā is a creature made of lava, smoke and fire. This piece dives into the challenges of making an animated creature of massive scale brought to fiery life by character, technical and effects animators.
    • Hair – One of the greatest technical achievements of the film was the animation of the beautiful, curly hair on Moana and Maui. Take a look at the hair-raising detail that goes into animating each strand, adding performance to the movie that has never been seen before.
  • Deleted Song: “Warrior Face” – With introduction by songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda.
  • Deleted Scenes – Ron and John introduce the following deleted scenes:  Race the Wind/Ties that BindDiscussing Moana’s FutureUnder the SeaGrandmother’s Warning/Legend of MauiEducation of MoanaFather, Daughter, Boat; and Canoe Race.
  • Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go” – Performed by Alessia Cara.
  • “How Far I’ll Go Around the World” – Multi-language reel of the song “How Far I’ll Go.”
  • Audio Commentary – With directors Ron and John.

DVD:

  • Theatrical Short Film: “Inner Workings,” Music Video: “How Far I’ll Go,” and Audio Commentary

Here are a few of the above extras as Bonus Clips to give you an idea of the quality of the release:

Moana | Making the Music: Getting Together

Moana | Making the Music: Finding Auli’i

Moana | Elements of Tattoo: Animating Mini Maui

Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this movie. All opinions are our own.

Amy Crooks

Hi!! I'm Amy, and I am the owner and writer of this site. I'm a stay-at-home mom that enjoys cooking, crafting and cheering on my favorite hockey, football, baseball and basketball teams! I have an amazing husband and son (Clayton III does a little writing for the site too)!! :)

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