The 2017 Oscars Totally Snubbed 'Moana'

by Kadeen Griffiths
Walt Disney Pictures

My name is Kadeen Griffiths, and I'm an unabashed Moana fan. A movie hasn't resonated with me so strongly since Mulan, and it helps that the score was composed by the Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton and inspirational good morning tweet fame. So when it came time to see if Moana would win Best Original Score at the 2017 Oscars, you can bet that I was on the edge of my seat. And when Moana was snubbed by the 2017 Oscars, I need you to take a moment to imagine my rage. I'm sure La La Land had a pretty great score. I wouldn't deny that, especially when I've never seen it. But what I am saying is that Moana was a flawless film from start to finish, and it deserved more than to be snubbed in this category.

This category was Lin-Manuel Miranda's chance to be the youngest EGOT winner — and the one to get that rare honor in the shortest amount of time — and, somehow, that failed to come to pass. How can "How Far I'll Go" have been ignored by the Academy? How? I got that song stuck in my head for months after hearing it once, and it's so much more relatable than half the songs on the La La Land soundtrack. It's certainly more relatable and universal than "City of Stars," the winner in the category, which is a love song to Los Angeles and from Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) to Mia (Emma Stone). It's a gorgeous song, but it's kind of not even on the same level as "How Far I'll Go." Yeah, I said it.


"How Far I'll Go" is the I Want song of the film, the song that establishes Moana's passion, drive, and motivation throughout the movie. Although she loves her island and her village, although she looks forward to becoming a strong chief for her people, she can't stop her longing for the open ocean and her desire to explore and see new lands. Since her village kind of has a thing against leaving the island, these two halves of herself are in conflict with one another, and Auli'i Cravalho's flawless voice manages to capture the poignant reality of that struggle over the course of the Miranda-penned tune. Literally, if you can listen to the song without crying, you must not have a heart.

So how did the song get snubbed at the Oscars? In fact, Moana lost in both the categories that it was nominated in on Sunday night, proving yet again that the Academy is often wildly out of touch with what the people actually want. And by the people, I literally mean me. But, you know, all the other Moana fans out there too, or Miranda fans, or just people who were hoping that Zootopia and La La Land weren't going to stomp all over this beautiful, epic, emotional, inspiring Polynesian fairy tale starring everyone's new favorite Disney not-princess.

I think I speak for at least 50 percent of the Twitterverse when I say... Like, did we not watch the same movie, Academy? What's good, Academy? What's good?