About a month ago Disney released its 56th animated movie that would surprisingly stand out compared to the rest of their movies made in the last couple years. Now I don’t speak in terms of plot, rather I speak in terms of setting and theme. For you see, this movie would be all about Polynesian culture and mythology, a subject that often gets neglected in comparison to other cultures and mythologies. And while some people are worried about mistreatment, I can assure you in contrast to some of the other mythologies Disney has interacted with in the past Oceanic mythology came out the best. Having said that, let’s talk about the premise of the movie.
Moana is all about the titular character, the daughter of an island chief who finds herself tasked to save her village when a mysterious blight falls upon her island. In order to save her family and her people, Moana must leave her island to go find the demigod Maui and ask for his help. What follows isn’t your average Disney narrative, despite its appearances and beginnings. Moana is set to stream on Netflix in early 2017.
Among the voice cast for Moana, one particular person stands out among the others. This would have to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Yes, the well-known wrestler. Johnson voices Maui and an interview admitted that the character reminded Johnson a lot of himself. Let’s be honest here, what other movie is there where The Rock himself voices a Polynesian Demigod who sings about his actual mythological exploits?
Speaking of mythology, Moana didn’t bring too many changes to the Polynesian Mythology it is heavily based upon. While some changes did occur such as a key detail in Maui’s backstory, among a few others, the movie doesn’t change any other aspects of Polynesian mythology it uses. A time this is best shown is during Maui’s song “You’re Welcome” in which through song, Maui recalls his greatest deeds two of which for example are using his fish hook gifted to him by the Gods to pull an island up from the ocean and then in another deed to use it to restrain the sun. If you’re looking for a fun film for the family and something to kick start an interest in Polynesian mythology, Moana is for you.