Lately Disney has done its best to diversify its characters and place some pretty awesome twist on the “traditional princess.” Recently we watched Jasmine kick major butt, Tiana make her own dream come true, Meredith save her mother, and Anna and Elsa save each other. Loosely adapted from the ancient tales of the trickster demigod, Maui, prepare yourselves to meet “Moana!” Moana is a girl with her heart set on exploration. She yearns to explore the oceans and discover a fabled island. Disney’s official synopsis reiterates the previous statement and goes into depth concerning Moana and Maui; “In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.”
Ancient Polynesian culture is rich with folklore and stories most people around the world have no idea about. Besides Moana being a princess she is also an explorer and navigator, something no Disney princess and very few women in history have been before her. I imagine she will be a mixture of Ariel, Meredith, and Tiana–curious, strong willed, and resourceful! Sounds like an amazing princess, right? “Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” Musker said. “She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences,” directors Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Aladdin”). Still, Maui’s story will be just as interesting I imagine. We have not seen a demigod in Disney since Hercules. From his name one can surmise the fabled island they are destined to find after their long journey will be the Hawaiian island of Maui. Especially since according to myth he “fished up” the Hawaiian islands with his brothers. Interestingly, no Disney Princess movie is complete without a little romance, but there’s no mention of one between Moana and Maui yet. There also has not not been mention of a villain, but whoever they are we can be sure they will be as dastardly and cunning as ever!
Disney’s “Frozen” turned me into an adult fan of the company again. The music, story line, and characters force you to love them. There is no doubt Moana will do the same. At long last, another little girl of color will get to see someone who looks like her on screen; and positive reinforcement is alway good thing! Save your excitement for 2016, however, that is when Moana will make her cinematic debut!