This Hamilton Fan Loved Moana

by Matt Speiser

He’s Back.

At 10:35 this morning – the earliest the cineplex would allow – I took my four-year-old son to his first-ever feature: Disney’s Moana. Or as it’s known to those of us in the know – ie, all of America now – the new Lin-Manuel Miranda movie.

I wish I could pretend my kid asked me to take him.

I wish I could tell you I hadn’t been warned it would be a touch terrifying – what with the giant cannibalistic crab, the fire-demon, and the green lady who becomes a mountain.

I wish I could insist this was just me being a great dad.

But the truth is, since the moment I heard that our very own Shakespeare was turning from the afterbirth of a nation to the empire that is The Rock, I knew I’d be using my first-born as an excuse to see it.

Am I glad I did? Damn right.

And not just because of the feminist incarnation of a Disney princess. Or the digitized beachside vistas. Or even the wholesome bonding that seemed to seep from the sticky floors and coat the stale morning-popcorn.

No. I’m grateful instead for the soaring, earwormy loops. The trademark glee of our fearless composer when he pops in on “We Know the Way.” And most of all, for that glorious moment halfway through, when the perfectly titled “You’re Welcome” (see video) unleashes the now familiar, ever delicious blend of theater and hip-hop. It’s then that the words spiral out in syncopated perfection: all million-syllabic rhymes, luxuriant double-meanings, left-turns-when-you-thought-they-were-right. It’s then, right in that instant, that you leap from your seat, grin at your petrified son, and declare, “There!! Did you hear it?! That’s him! Miranda’s done it again!”

So that on the ride home, you’re at it again, clicking “play” on your phone, tapping your foot, and singing along to what sent you to Fandango in the first place.

How does a bastard