Moana side by side.
Moana side by side.
Screenshot: YouTube/Disney

Moana is an extremely emotive film. It is at turns funny, thrilling, and moving, but it’s always bracingly sincere. That sincerity comes through even in the storyboards.

In a new video, Disney showcases one of the movie’s most stirring moments, when Moana and her grandmother sing the song “I Am Moana”, with storyboards on the top of the video and the actual theatrical animation on the other. It’s a really stirring watch.

I love this storyboard art. It does a really powerful job of capturing the sincerity and emotive energy of the final film, even in such an early stage. You can see her grandmother’s love, and her passion and energy. Even without the sound, you would still be able to sense the moment building toward a climax.

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Don’t get me wrong, the CG work in Moana is impressive and the animation communicates the scene splendidly in the final version. But, honestly, if it was just the storyboards, the words, and the music, I’d still be moved.


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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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