the-story-of-moanaThe Story of Moana: A Tale of Courage and Adventure is more than just a novelization of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film. In addition to retelling the story, it adds traditional oceanic folk tales between select chapters to highlight the stories that inspired the filmmakers. Adapted by Kari Sutherland, the book is dedicated to all of the people of the Pacific Islands who helped Disney craft this beautiful tale.

Moana’s people are in jeopardy as the fish supply around her island dwindles. When she answers the call of the ocean and follows in her ancestors’ wayfinding traditions, she ends up on an incredible adventure to save her people with the help of a shape shifting demigod named Maui. Now this unlikely duo will have to face real monsters to restore peace to Oceania.

Moana is an inspiring, captivating story and this novelization does an incredible job of bringing it to life in a different way. Not only is it a solid story, but it has a tremendous amount of heart and is surprisingly funny. I really loved the short stories peppered throughout, which add a lot of color and culture to the book. The book’s design also adds to the effect with artwork before each chapter that matches the look of Maui’s tattoos.

Speaking of ink, this purchase is sweetened by a sheet of tattoos of Maui, Moana and other icons from the story. Recommended for ages 8-12, this is the most advanced Moana movie tie-in book available and the one I also recommend for adult fans hoping to know the story in advance of the film. Moana is such an incredible tale and it translates into a solid book in this novelization.


Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.



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