Moana sort of passed me by when it came to cinemas, and because it didn’t have as massive a hype as Frozen it sort of kept passing me by. That is until lots and lots of adults I know both in real life and via social media were absolutely buzzing about this film.
And unlike with Frozen I can understand why; Moana is one the most determined and fearless Disney characters of recent times. And OMG is she patience, because Maui is intolerable.
I know he was written to be like that, and there are elements of his personality that can be sympathetic (mainly his tattoo who I felt really sorry for), he is one of my least favourite Disney characters.
But then again I don’t like people who don’t take responsibility for their actions. I hate it even more when others have to fix their mistakes, and the person responsible isn’t willing to admit they even made one. I am gritting my teeth just thinking about him.
Thank goodness the ocean was on Moana’s side, because Maui extremely selfish. I would have thought a better ending would have been him having to accept life without his precious hook. Given he essentially pushed Moana into the ocean to drown her multiple times, and left her locked in a cave to starve, he really needed to be taught a lesson and I don’t feel as if he had been.
I understand perfectly why Te Fiti became Ta Ka, all because of Maui. And the ending was something special; Moana approaching Ta Ka with reason and admiration, and quite a lot of understanding as to why Ta Ka was so angry. The message that not everything has to be resolved with violence was something we really do need more of in our world.
There is so much I really love about this film. I know that there still is quite a lot of discussion about how appropriate it is for Disney to use Polynesian culture for profit. Cultural appropriation is a serious matter. However, if you look beyond the profits, and look at the story and the history behind the story, there is a great deal cultural appreciation.
Moana for me is a way I can appreciate Polynesian cultures, which I have always admired a great deal, because of the immense talent of the Polynesian seafarers. And I want to learn more; I don’t want to use their culture in order to make myself appear enlightened and worldly. I want to quietly read more about their history, so that I learn about them and their perspective on the world.
And what more could you ask of a kid’s film? A great protagonist and a desire to learn more. Well…Maui, but I think you know my opinion of him.