11 December 2016

Face To Face With Greatness

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Disney's latest film Moana tells the story of a teenage Polynesian girl that wants to run away from home. However although most teenage girls that runaway from home do so for dangerous reasons, such as the fact that they've put their trust into an older man with a nice car and a predatory agenda, Moana simply wants to save her island from a destructive curse. To do this she must hunt down a demi-God named Maui who is essentially responsible for all of the troubles that she's suffering, which must be nice for her. I mean, as a society, we're all used to a God being at the heart of our troubles, but unlike everybody else that's ever been gullible enough to believe in one, at least she knows that hers isn't total made-up bullshit. Her adventure involves travelling overseas, which is something that her father has strictly forbidden her to do because it's dangerous and he has some common sense. However the girl's dying Grandma is at a point in her life where she clearly doesn't give a fuck about anything and so encourages our hero out on her suicide mission. The old woman also thinks that once she dies she'll turn into a giant stingray looking thing that'll no doubt help the plot out at some point. I don't know why she wants to be a giant stingray but I'm going to guess she's not a fan of Steve Irwin.

Anyway, so this is pretty much just another Disney movie, and after everybody's favourite Frozen with its likeable characters and obviously gay subtext, I was excited. Not because I love Frozen that much, but just because I need people to start singing a new fucking song. I don't remember what the song from Frozen was called but at this point I think you all just need to let it go. Luckily the songs here are insanely good and have stuck in my head like that video of Two Girls One Cup. I just can't stop thinking about them, with “You're Welcome” being quite possibly the best thing I've ever heard. Not just because it's sung by the worlds greatest human The Rock, but because it's also catchier than shame and STDs in a Bangkok whorehouse. I mean- sure, you could argue that as a character, his Maui isn't a million miles away from Aladdin's Genie, however if you're going to make a huge deal out of that then I'm going to punch you in the dick because he's The Rock and I won't hear a God damn bad word said about him. I've been playing a few computer games recently and the voice acting in them is like listening to a bargain bin cyborg recite the last words of its victims before having had its emotion-chip activated. By contrast however, The Rock knocked this role so far out of the ring that it was as though he'd just delivered The People's Elbow to one of his wrestling opponents after spotting that look in their eye that screamed, “kill me before I kill my family”.

However if The Rock's song didn't do it for you then don't worry because beyond the fact that you're clearly a fucking idiot, there is more music. Sorry, but I really have no tolerance for anybody whose love of The Rock doesn't match my own, which is an unhealthy combination of adoration, intimidation, and absolutely not arousal. Most notably of these other songs is “Shiny” by Germaine Clement which has hints of his Flight Of The Conchords David Bowie impression about it. I suppose you could also argue that his character in this scene isn't a million miles away from The Little Mermaid's Ursula, however if you're going to make a huge deal out of that then I'm going to punch you in the dick again because it's literally one of the most joyous scenes I've seen in the cinema this year. As we reach the end of the year, we've seen half of our favourite celebrities tragically kick the bucket in one way or another, and then as Trump became ruler of the world we realised that they were the lucky ones. If for five minutes I can forget the shit stain of the universe that is our current society by watching a giant crab sing about how it likes things that sparkle, then fuck it, the admission ticket was worth its price.

Ignoring the songs then I guess you could argue that the film is fairly predictable as far as Disney cartoons go. Do you imagine that it ends with the lead girl having failed her mission, the island dying, her filling her pockets with stones and then jumping into the ocean? Because obviously it doesn't. Beyond anything, the water has a James Cameron's The Abyss life-of-its own thing going on that would selfishly deny her any watery suicide that she might be up for. However what the film does have is amazing characters with the lead being pretty much everything you could ask for. She's independent, environmentally aware, and adventurous, with a keen awareness of the importance of her heritage whilst also being able to prioritise the future. Unlike most female characters in a Disney film, her agenda is entirely focused on her mission and at no point does she go gushy for some prick of a prince and require a man to save her. Well done to Disney too for only slightly sexualising the young girl. I mean she's not a rancid slab of hideous, but we're not approaching the level of weird that we were at with their sexy depiction of the ten year old Pocahontas.

And speaking of Pocahontas, I suppose the other thing to praise Moana for is its depiction of the girl's culture here. Disney has never quite managed to get its version of Jonny Foreigner quite right, with Pocahontas being a story of the white saviour, and Aladdin propagating the 'sneaky arab' stereotype. Now as I sit here drinking tea, sneering apathetically over my semi-informed political opinions, and wondering when people will stop assuming that the “Great” in Great Britain means 'good' rather than simply 'big', it's obvious that I'm not Polynesian. Therefore I had to take a trip to the land of Google to find out how they'd done, and to be fair it seems that they didn't fuck up too badly. In fact, it seems that the worst thing that they've done in terms of insensitivity is outside of the film in which some bright spark from the money department thought it'd be a good idea to sell Maui costumes to children. Except Maui doesn't exactly wear much so you're essentially selling children an official, Disney-licensed brown-face and grass-skirt combo which kind of plays off like you're dressing up as a racist version of The Silence Of The Lambs' Buffalo Bill.

Ignoring everything I've just said however, the overwhelming thing for me when watching this movie was just the sheer sensation of joy that I felt throughout. For me, the movie quite literally did every single thing that I wanted it to, and at no point did I feel bored, disappointed, or let down... which is more than I can say for life in general. From the directors of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, it's clear that they've built on what they'd previously already gotten right, they've worked on, what they'd previously gotten wrong, and they've made the leap from 2D to 3D with all the competency of a flatulent high jumper with springs on their trainers and helium in their tits. Actually, speaking of flatulence, it's worth mentioning that before the film started I went to the toilet for a pee, and even though I was the only person there, I still used the cubical. A few seconds later a child and its Dad came in with the child letting out the biggest fart I'd ever heard. The Dad turned to his son and exclaimed “Was that you?!”, to which his little bastard responded with “No”. I mean- fucking cheers you little turd.. because that basically now makes it look like it was me. Even despite this utmost embarrassment, I was able to forget everything and just enjoy the film. So whether you're a fan of The Rock, Frozen, the non-sexualisation of young female characters, or maybe you've simply just been framed by some shitty kid with a farty arse.. I can honestly say that this is the film for you. Now go see Moana, enjoy the balls off it, and to quote The Rock “You're welcome”. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.