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Awesome Music / Moana

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We know the way!

As can be expected from a Disney princess movie, Moana is chock-full of brilliant music, both thanks to its incredibly talented cast and its amazing crew of songwriters and musicians, including composer Mark Mancina, Opetaia Foa'i, leader of the Polynesian band Te Vaka and Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda. Moana even marks the Disney Animated Canon's first musical since The Princess and the Frog to have the songwriters proudly credited in the trailers.

  • "Shiny", Tamatoa's highly anticipated Villain Song, is a David Bowie-esque glam rock ballad performed by Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Concords fame) playing a giant Ax-Crazy crab monster. And yes, it is just as awesome as it sounds. He somehow manages to dial the flamboyance Up to Eleven on the te reo Māori version. The reo Māori version gets a bit of meta Awesome — musical director Rob Ruha said in an interview (around 7:20) that Jemaine Clement helped translate part of the song to ensure thematic accuracy. That's some two-fold awesomeness: for one thing, not many dubs get that kind of adaptational advantage; and for another, it shows how seriously Jemaine took the role of David Bowie's silly, posthumous crabsona.
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  • "You're Welcome", Maui's egotistical "I Am Great!" Song, is so catchy and upbeat, you just can't help but sing along! Who knew The Rock could sing?note  Jordan Fisher's rendition of the song, also played during the credits, is just as awesome and catchy. The rap segment is even performed by Lin-Manuel himself! At about 2:21, the background dancers appear to be doing the infamous Dab dance move.
  • Some of the cut songs included on the soundtrack are also amazing; "Unstoppable" is a very Hamilton-esque song about Maui's exploits and how the ancestors of Moana's people thrived with him helping them, and "More" and its reprise are early versions of Moana's "I Want" Song about how she longs to travel beyond her island (which eventually became "How Far I'll Go"). Some parts of the final film still have an instrumental of "Unstoppable".
  • It's not just limited to the traditional Broadway-esque songs, the more Polynesian themed songs and the instrumental score is also very enjoyable; it reminds one of Tarzan at times. An apt comparison, considering that Mark Mancina composed the score to both films and Lin-Manuel Miranda has joked that his singing on the songs is really a Phil Collins impression.
  • "Sails to Te Fiti" as a whole is an incredible underscore to an incredible fight scene, but the first minute of it is especially phenomenal as it plays under and enhances Moana's new declaration that she herself will restore The Heart, while she fixes her boat and expertly navigates her way back to Te Ka.
  • The I Am Moana and You Know Who You Are duo. They easily come as the moments of catharsis for Moana and are the most emotional and tearful moments of the movie. The female chorus in the latter song is spine-chillingly gorgeous.
    Moana: Who am I? [Starts singing]
    I am the girl who loves my island, and the girl who loves the sea. It calls me. ["We Know The Way" starts softly]
    I am the daughter of the village chief. We are descended from voyagers, who found their way across the world. They call me!
    [Backing gets louder as Moana gains confidence]
    I delivered us to where we are. I have journeyed farther!
    I am everything I've learned and more, still it calls me!
    And the call isn't out there at all, it's inside me!
    It's like the tide; always falling and rising.
    I will carry you here in my heart, you'll remind me...
    That come what may, I know the way, I am Moana!

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