Soundtrack Review: Moana

Soundtrack Review: Moana

Moana Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Moana by Mark Mancina.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 76.1
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 3
Album Excellence: 6.6%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

Moana is a 2016 American 3D Animated film directed by Ron Clements & John Musker and starring Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson & Rachel House. A sweeping, CG-animated adventure about a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui, and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds. The score is composed by Mark Mancina.

Disney animated films and Mark Mancina usually means a good time. I really enjoyed his two Planes scores and that’s good because my son were obsessed with those movies for a while. Moana seems like a more grown up adventure, more dangerous, but also with a lot of humor as per usual. A lot of ocean perhaps a little bit inspiration from tribal music. We’ll see. The score opens with ‘Prologue’ a very rhythmic tribal opening and that bodes well. There’s no theme to speak of yet, more adventurous and slightly foreboding. I’m not sure if I can explain this right, but the score opens without something special. It doesn’t quite feel like a magical Disney journey to me, but a more normal everyday adventure score.

The score opens up eventually, a little bit at the end of ‘The Ocean Chose You’ with some nice chanting and then finally with ‘Tala’s Deathbed’ a very nice piece with the best theme yet. For me this music feels a bit static and I wouldn’t say slow, but a bit boring. There’s rarely any moments with true pleasure. I wouldn’t call it without soul, but it sure won’t light up my world. I did ask for some tribal music and there is, but to me it doesn’t feel heavy enough or fun enough. It definitely needs to push it quite a bit because as it is, it’s just not very enjoyable. It’s strange and I don’t know what happened exactly, but for me, it’s just not fun. Maybe I have to see the movie to fully enjoy the score, but to be honest, that shouldn’t be a requirement. In the deluxe edition which I am reviewing there’s a second CD with various outtakes and musical demos by Mancina, but if you didn’t enjoy the main score, you’ll probably not enjoy those. Then again, it’s interesting to hear the musical ideas and variations in demo form. Sadly, this score is one of the big disappointments for me this year.

21. Tala’s Deathbed
35. Te Fiti Destroyed

GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: Moana, 9.1 out of 10 based on 7 ratings


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