10 Things You Didn’t Know about “Moana”

If you don’t know the Disney story of Moana by now then you might not have kids or you might just not be into Disney movies. Or you could be Polynesian and be deeply offended by the many things that might have been seen as inaccurate by those that believe their culture was corrupted in some way. I hope it’s not the latter as the story of Moana is one of pure enjoyment for children as the titular character is charged with retrieving the demigod Maui and restoring the heart of Te Fiti so that the encroaching darkness that has crept upon her world can be halted and eventually stopped. The story is one of wonder and comes with a very good lesson about believing in yourself through all things big and small.

If nothing else, it was an entertaining moment in cinema for children.

10. The character of Tamatoa was a tribute to David Bowie.

Lin-Manuel Miranda made this known as the performance was meant to be a tribute to the famous singer/actor.

9. There are a great many legends about Maui that differ with the telling.

Some legends say that he caught the sun with his hook since the days went too fast. Others say that he dragged the islands from the ocean while fishing. There are a good number of them.

8. Maui’s tattoos were all hand drawn.

This the first Disney movie since Winnie the Pooh that any animation has been hand-drawn.

7. This is the first Disney film with a predominantly Polynesian cast.

Alan Tudyk, who voices the old man in the village who suggests cooking Hei Hei, and also voices Hei Hei, is the only non-Polynesian actor in this film.

6. The directors took their time to study the Polynesian culture so as to be as respectful as possible in the telling of the story.

A lot of people still called out their mistakes but they did what they could to keep it as true to the Polynesian culture as possible and not offend anyone.

5. The tattoos on Chief Tui’s abdomen are the same that were worn by Peter Maivia, Dwayne Johnson’s grandfather.

Dwayne Johnson’s maternal grandfather was a pro wrestler that went by the name of High Chief Peter Maivia, and the tattoos on Tui’s sides resemble those that Maivia had.

4. Maui’s Fishhook constellation is a real life constellation in Polynesian culture and is called Scorpio in other cultures. 

It doesn’t take on the same look as it does in the movie but this is mostly for effect and not for realism.

3. Motonui is a volcanic island.

It’s not an active volcano, or at least it doesn’t appear that way in the movie, but the black rock would indicate that it’s an island that rose a long time ago out of the ocean due to volcanic activity.

2. When Moana sits up on the sand on Maui’s island, this is the same shot that is used in Frozen.

This is the same pose that Anna is in when she sits up in bed after being woken up for the coronation of her sister.

1. The kakamora chase is reminiscent of a scene from Mad Max: Fury Road. 

The directors are big Mad Max fans and wanted to put a scene in the movie that had to do with something similar to inspire a real sense of danger.

And when it’s time to find home, we know the way.

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