Posted on Monday, October 24th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
From a purely statistical perspective, chances are strong that Dwayne Johnson is better looking than you, more charming than you, and harder working than you. It’s true of me and it’s probably true of you. Sorry, but this is reality we’re dealing with here. But there is one lingering question that Disney’s upcoming film Moana looks to answer: can Dwayne Johnson carry a tune more effectively than you? Thanks to a new clip from the film, we can start to answer that question.
Before we get to the clip, let’s refer to this piece by our own Angie Han, who was able to watch five scenes from the film and shared the details. She wrote about the lead-up to the song we’re about to see:
Animator Jorgue Ruiz explained to us that the scene takes place after Moana and Maui have been caught in a storm, only to wash up on a mysterious island. It’s daylight, and Moana hears someone approaching. She realizes it’s Maui, so she grabs Hei Hei, ducks behind her boat, and begins to practice her pitch to him.
Maui appears and spots the boat. “A boat, a boat! The gods have given me a boat!” He picks up the boat and sees Moana and Hei Hei underneath it. He’s so startled he drops the boat. When he picks it up again, he sees Hei Hei buried up to his neck in the sand, but Moana has disappeared.
And at some point, Maui starts bragging about his accomplishments through song (with music and lyrics written by Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina, and Hamilton creator/legitimate genius Lin-Manuel Miranda):
My first reaction is that Johnson’s singing voice is fine. I wouldn’t want to listen to him record an album, but it has the right energy for the character. He may not be a natural singer, but he’s charismatic enough to fake it, and that may be more than sufficient in this case.
We were also given another glimpse of this scene last week, where we saw Auli’i Cravalho‘s Moana proving that even a boisterous demigod can be put in his place by a young woman on a mission:
Between the song and clip, we’re starting to get a better picture of who Maui is (even if we still know precious little about the title character). I’ll once again default to Angie’s thoughts on the character since she’s seen more of him than I have:
Maui looks downright obnoxious, in a rather endearing way. He’s all arrogance and bluster, like a more good-natured Gaston, but with a good heart deep down. He’s also covered in tattoos, but not just any old tattoos. Ruiz explained that one tattoo in particular, showing a “mini Maui,” represented Maui’s kinder, more honest side, serving as a Jiminy Cricket-style conscience. Johnson’s definitely got Maui’s charismatic, larger-than-life personality down, and he looks to be a very memorable character.
Moana opens on November 23, 2016, and is directed by Disney veterans Ron Clements and John Musker.
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