Fear not, post-election worriers: Disney is on the case. Its Thanksgiving blockbuster-to-be film Moana—screened Sunday by The Cinema Society for a star-studded crowd of the next generation (and their famous parents) at the elegant Metrograph theater on Ludlow Street—is a glorious, heart-swelling tribute to girl power and the environment.
Among the future change-makers in the audience were the progeny of Liya Kebede, Jenna Lyons, Liev Schreiber Jason Biggs and Jenny Mollen, Richard Kind, Jeffrey Tambor, and Malin Ackerman. As the kiddies gleefully helped themselves to popcorn (salt and olive oil for them, turmeric and cayenne for the grown-ups) and candy candy candy, co-hosts Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka kept an eye on their adorable twins and greeted the crowd. Then everyone headed into the theater for two hours of dazzle and original Lin-Manuel Miranda songs.
Quick plot sum-up: Moana, rebellious future chief of her endangered island (the coconuts have gone rotten and the fish have fled) sets off on a Homer-level Odyssey to appease the long-angered goddess of the Earth. In what is perhaps an unprecedented move for a Disney movie, Moana is not a princess and not looking for love. But by the end of the screening she’d found exactly that: adoration from the adults and kids alike, galvanized as they headed back out into the cloudy afternoon, ready to fight for hope and change.
BY LAUREN BRODY