Great movie for the entire family
Please note that when I say "3 and up" I mean that it is safe for your 3 year old. However, there are some deep messages in the film that they probably won't fully understand until they're just a little bit older. My 3 year old didn't say much of the movie apart from their love of the chicken and Maui being so funny. My 5 year old, 7 year old, and twin 9 year olds had lots to say about the film.
I think this is a movie that adults can enjoy a lot, although there are some moments that feel very kiddish, but that's to be expected. For the most part, it has the classic Disney feel and that's great! The film is receiving a lot of praise due to the fact that Moana has no love interest/there is never any romance even mentioned, like a betrothal of some sort. Hey, I am totally fine with this - I think it's good to have a princess here and there that remains single, but I don't like that people are "romance shaming" as if the other Disney princesses are weak because they found love. Moana's awesome, but I'd say Pocahontas is just as heroic if not more, and she found love. So did Mulan, who my youngest daughter adores. That being said - it's only the critics that say these things. There is no love shaming in Moana, but my 9 year old twins (girl and boy) have seen the movie praised for that on the internet, and have heard kids at school say "It's awesome that she didn't get a prince!" And I just don't like that. I don't like it seeming weak that princesses find love. I want them to feel encouraged to find it. Of course, they don't need it, but what's wrong with wanting it? I absolutely love my husband and have worked hard to make sure we always display a good example of what a relationship should be to them. I don't want them to see that as wrong. Again though - that's no fault of Moana, but if you feel the way that I do on that subject, just know that they will probably hear someone praise the film's lack of romance a lot and it may make them think that a girl is stronger than another because she's single. Aside from that, I don't have any qualms about this film as far as anything being too much for children. There are some "scary" scenes, but some of the least intense as far as Disney usually goes. Nothing bothered any of my kids, not even my 3 year old. My 7 year old son is obsessed with Maui, and while my other kids don't match his level, they all had lots to say about Maui and how funny he was. My 5 year old daughter especially took a liking to Moana, said her favorite scene was the "slow motion walk" at the end. They all loved the chicken. They also loved Pua, the pig, who I wish had been in it more! He really was cute and my daughters kept awwing when he was on the screen, but he's hardly in it.
Anyway, a lot of great things to be seen in this movie. From an adult perspective, I personally prefer Zootopia, but I still loved it. I don't think there's anything that even a more sheltering parent would have to fear from Moana.
(Fair warning - there is a character death, but it is probably the most mild of all Disney deaths. The grandmother dies of old age, and it is very sudden. We never actually witness her die, we just see her on the verge of it. She briefly mentions that when she dies, she wants to come back as a manta ray, and after Moana leaves the island, a manta ray follows her boat. Two of my kids didn't even realize she died until toward the end of the movie when she appears as a ghost. I liked this, though, because the message with this one was that even when people die, they are always with us. Great thing for my kids to see considering they're still coping with the a loss from the previous year.)