MOANA
2016, Walt Disney Pictures, 103 min, USA, Dir: Ron Clements, John Musker

Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADDIN), this sweeping, CG-animated feature follows the title character, a teenager inspired by the seafaring adventures of her ancestors to leave the safety of her Polynesian island. Aided by mighty demigod Maui (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), Moana (Auliʻi Cravalho) prevails against enormous monsters and impossible odds as she voyages across the open ocean on a daring journey to save her people.


ALADDIN
1992, Walt Disney Pictures, 90 min, USA, Dir: Ron Clements, John Musker

The Disney renaissance sparked by THE LITTLE MERMAID continued with this dazzling fantasy based on the Arabian Nights folktale. When street urchin Aladdin comes into possession of a magic lamp, he uses its power to woo a princess but runs afoul of the evil Grand Vizier. As the lamp’s wisecracking Genie, Robin Williams is at his stream-of-consciousness best (legendary animator Chuck Jones called this film "the funniest feature ever made” for good reason). Composer Alan Menken’s original score and song (“A Whole New World”) both earned Oscars.


FITZCARRALDO
1982, Werner Herzog Film, 158 min, West Germany/Peru, Dir: Werner Herzog

Rubber baron and music fanatic Fitzcarraldo (Klaus Kinski) journeys down the darkest byways of the Amazon to build an opera house at the rainforest’s heart. Like his title character, director Werner Herzog reaches an ambitious pinnacle of achievement here – the staggeringly impossible odds that seem to weigh against Fitzcarraldo ever reaching his goal were mirrored by Herzog’s own attempts to complete the film (which were chronicled in Les Blank’s astonishing documentary BURDEN OF DREAMS). Co-starring a ravishing Claudia Cardinale as Fitzcarraldo’s strong, outspoken paramour who believes in him. A must-see!


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