Moana is one of Disney’s newest princesses and is loved for the way she challenges what it means to be a princess.
Thanks to her unstoppable perseverance and unwavering courage, Moana has become a favorite of Disney fans of all ages.
From her athletic build to her legitimately rebellious nature, this Polynesian princess provides a fictional role model for the young woman who doesn’t back down when it comes to helping those she loves.
How old is Moana?
moana is 16 years old during the 2016 disney princesses animated movie.
She is the second princess to be a member of a native civilization and is the second Disney protagonist to be of Polynesian descent.
the story of moana follows the journey of moana, the daughter of chief motuni tui, as she breaks her people’s law against crossing the reef in an attempt to return te fiti’s heart to the creator goddess of life.
While she is on her oceanic adventure to return Te Fiti’s heart, she is joined by the shape-shifting demigod called Maui, who originally stole the goddess’s heart and brought about the time of darkness for the people of Moana.
Moana is known for her headstrong nature and her love of the sea, despite the fear her boss father has tried to instill in her.
Even her grandmother, Gramma Tala, describes Moana as someone who “stands out from the crowd.”
To match her strong-willed personality, the boss’s daughter is known for being incredibly athletic and physically capable.
For a teenager who has never left her home island, Moana is perfectly capable of handling herself alone.
Although Moana is known for her confidence, she often struggles to balance her dreams and aspirations with the expectations her parents and community members have for her.
Just like her father, this Disney star takes her responsibility to her people very seriously.
Her devotion to her community is what led her to go against her father’s orders and take on Moana’s mission from Gramma Tala.
When Moana was first created as a character, she was meant to be a supporting character and potential love interest for Maui, but instead, she completely took the limelight out of Maui.
is moana considered a disney princess?
yes, moana considers herself a disney princess and became a member of the disney princess franchise in 2019.
She is the second Disney Princess not based on a previously existing character, and the first original Disney Princess is Merida from Brave.
Although Moana is considered to be part of the Disney Princess franchise, she was not included in the franchise with the normal coronation ceremony that her predecessors had.
instead, moana was quietly presented as a disney princess through her lines of books and toys.
It took three years after the release of the Moana movie for her to be included in the main Disney franchise.
when moana appeared in ralph breaks the internet along with all the other disney princesses, she wasn’t considered a disney princess yet, and wouldn’t be part of the franchise until a few months after that movie was released.
moana is considerably unique compared to other disney princesses.
She is one of the few princesses whose outfit consists of more than one main color, joining the ranks of Mermaid Ariel, Snow White, and Mulan.
moana was another disney princess movie that was named after the main character, and the other movies that took on the naming trope were mulan and pocahontas.
unlike the other disney princesses, moana is the only one who completely rejects the title of “princess”.
This groundbreaking character is also the fifth non-white Disney princess, preceded by Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine from Aladdin.
When photographer Annie Leibovitz created the Disney Dreams series of portraits, Moana and Mulan were the only princesses not represented by celebrities.
moana was created for girls who didn’t want to sit back and be princesses, but rather explore the world and help those they love most.
is motunui a real place?
no, moana’s home island motunui is not a real place.
However, his home island is based on a combination of Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga.
The village where Moana’s father is the chief is considered a chiefdom, also known as fa’amatai.
Unlike kingdoms with their kings and queens, the passing of the chief title is not dependent on the death of previous royalty.
instead, each motunui island chief simply had to peacefully take over as the rightful ruler after placing a ceremonial stone on top of the island’s sacred mountain called the place of chiefs to demonstrate their devotion .
Many of the lore seen in Moana are heavily inspired by Polynesian culture, including in the way Moana carries herself and traverses the world around her.
From her deep devotion to her family to the way Moana uses the stars as her navigational tool, this princess and her hometown were purposefully given a fictional place to live to allow writers to equally represent to all countries of Polynesian descent. .
Many fans have theorized that the name Motunui is of Maori or Rapa Nui origin.
Those who believe it to be of Maori origin have pointed to the Motunui settlement on New Zealand’s North Island, Taranaki.
Fans who believe that the name of Moana’s home island is of Rapa Nui origin think that the name comes from the Motu Nui islet, which is located on the southern side of Easter Island, Chile.
The writers behind Moana have yet to verify any of these fan theories, but most likely never will due to their goal of making Moana a representative of all that Polynesian culture has to offer.
Although fans can’t go to motunui, there are real-life equivalents.
Who does Moana’s voice?
moana was played by auli’i cravalho when she was only 14 years old.
when moana was released in 2016, cravalho was the same age as his animated character.
cravalho is a native Hawaiian who loves singing, acting, microbiology, swimming, and horseback riding.
never thought it would cause such a stir in hollywood.
Since her role as the Disney Princess, Auli’i Cravalho has acted at the Oscars and even made her way into live-action movies.
His first live-action movie was All Together Now, which is based on the novel by Matthew Quick as a rock star.
as cravalho got older, the young actress discovered that she loves to explore deeper themes and show more intense emotions.
While her best-known character may be a Disney princess, Cravalho wants to show the world that her acting has far to go.
One of the biggest challenges for auli’i cravalho as she transitions from voice acting to live acting is trying to figure out what she’s supposed to do with her face at all times.
As a self-proclaimed “optimist almost to the extreme,” Cravalho didn’t let her fears get in the way when she auditioned for the role of Hayley on All Together Now.
While she may have been a little sad that she didn’t get the role of Hayley, she was beyond excited to take on the role of Amber instead.
Both Cravalho and his character share a sunny outlook on life.
To make it easier for her to pursue her acting career, Auli’i Cravalho moved from Hawaii to New York before settling in Los Angeles.
This move seems to have worked in his favor, with his face appearing in many popular movies, such as the Amazon thriller The Power.
does moana have superpowers?
Moana may appear to have superpowers at first glance, but many of the supernatural things that happen around her are more controlled by the magic that surrounds her and her people.
Although some people may believe that Moana is able to control water, in the style of the last airbender, it’s really just her people’s connection to the ocean at work.
In Moana, there are multiple occasions where Moana has the water part in front of her.
This is not her direct doing, but it is the ocean’s reaction to her.
Instead of seeing the ocean simply as water, the Motunui people understand that their ocean is a sentient being that is usually more than willing to help them.
That’s why Moana separates herself from the water and is even seen helping her from time to time, like when Maui pulls Moana out of her boat and the ocean drops her back into the boat.
Some Disney fans believe that Moana is almost preternaturally athletic, with most people pointing to the moment the princess moved and knocked over a statue of Maui that was much larger than her.
However, those who don’t believe Moana has superhuman strength quickly realize that she spends all of her free time slithering through trees and running at incredibly fast speeds all over her home island.
Another ability that seems unnatural to Moana is her almost instantaneous talent for navigation.
Some fans may argue that Moana went from completely inexperienced to a master sailor in a matter of minutes or a couple of hours, others are quick to point out that sailing is in her blood and has been the way her people it survived for generations.
It’s often discussed whether Moana’s abilities go beyond what’s naturally possible, but no one denies her entrepreneurial attitude.
How old is Maui?
Maui is thousands of years old because he is a demigod and would not change even 1000 years after the events of Moana.
According to Hawaiian folklore, it was Maui and his brothers who lifted the islands out of the water.
native Hawaiians once believed that māui had gone fishing with his brothers, but he was also known to be a trickster.
māui used his manaiakalani, his hook, to grab onto the ocean and make his brothers believe he had caught a huge fish.
Despite knowing that his powerful hook was stuck to the bottom of the ocean, the mischievous demigod told his brothers to row their boat as fast as they could.
His brother rowed so hard they pulled every one of the Hawaiian Islands out of the water.
Although Maui is best known as a troublemaker who’s just after a good joke, he’s also come in handy throughout mythology.
as stated in the song you’re welcome, maui was also the one who helped his people remember how to create fire.
After years of eating raw fish and vegetables, Maui was on the hunt for a new way to make food taste better.
While surveying the land, the demigod noticed a plume of smoke in the distance and ran towards it.
When he arrived, Maui found a Hawaiian Moorhen, also known as an ‘alae.
maui immediately grabbed the bird’s throat and demanded it share its secret, which the bird was quick to give up.
The bird told Maui that he had rubbed two pieces of mai’a (banana tree).
however, the bird hadn’t been completely honest the first time, which resulted in maui strangling the bird again.
this time, the bird told him to use dry kiawe instead, which worked.
what easter eggs are hidden in moana?
Like all Disney movies, Moana has plenty of hidden details, aka easter eggs, for the company’s biggest fans to spot.
Disney movies are full of little details that can reference previous movies or even highlight upcoming movies.
One of the first Easter eggs you can see in Moana is inside Moana’s basket that she takes on the hunt in Maui, which contains the nose and arms of the comical Olaf from Frozen.
olaf isn’t the only character to appear, with maui turning into sven for a moment.
Fans are quick to point out all the characters referenced in The Little Mermaid.
the tamatoa crab makes a joke about sebastion, and he says “if my name was sebastian and I had a great Jamaican accent, you’d totally help me out.”
a 2d portrait of the flounder can be seen during the maui song, you’re welcome, around 2:26.
Like young Ariel, baby Moana is also seen with a pink flower behind her right ear.
At the beginning of the movie, some fans believe that the baby turtle that Moana helped was actually a little squirt from Finding Nemo.
A portrait of Ralph from Wreck It Ralph can be seen at the end of the credits on one of the cloth covers.
mini maui, which is the tattooed version of maui, was designed to be an alter ego of jiminy cricket.
mini maui is not only a helpful supporting character, but his mannerisms and the way he moves are influenced by the classic disney character.
Fans were also quick to point out how similar the ocean and Aladdin’s magic carpet behave.
one of the hardest easter eggs to spot is aladdin’s genie lamp as part of the treasure of tamatoa.
what historical event is depicted in moana?
The historical event depicted in Moana is the Long Pause, which occurred about 3,500 years ago.
Although the real reason this historical event occurred may have nothing to do with an angry deity, the long pause is a hot topic for Polynesian historians.
Approximately 3,500 years ago, the first settlers called the Lapita arrived on the Bismarck Islands.
For a brief 500 years, the technology of the Lapita people innovated rapidly, allowing people to travel from island to island from Melanesia to Western Polynesia.
These people eventually made it to Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga before settling again.
There was a sudden change that caused innovation to slow down quickly, but no one knows the real reason why people stopped traveling.
the long pause lasted at least 1000 years before the descendants of the lapita people settled in places like hawaii, rapa nui or aotearoa.
Historians now often wonder what caused these ocean navigators to lose their love of nautical voyages.
Scientists have used carbon dating on many artifacts they have found in western and eastern Polynesia to identify the 1,000-year gap.
Most scientists believe that the islands of Western Polynesia were established around 800 B.C.
Using computer models, researchers have studied the effect that changing wind direction and ocean currents might have had on Lapita, Waka Ama, and Waka Hourua canoes.
waka ama were smaller canoes used on earlier voyages.
waka hourua did not arrive until later voyages by Polynesian settlers.
These canoes could travel longer distances and carry more supplies and people.
Many Polynesian historians point to this boat innovation as the solution to the long hiatus.
why does moana have another name in europe?
moana has a different name in europe due to trademark issues, which is a rare problem for disney.
This 2016 Disney princess may be known as Moana in the US and most other countries, but European audiences know her by another name.
the european name for moana is vaiana because there was a famous italian adult film star and lgbtq+ advocate named moana pozzi.
Because Disney is a family-owned entertainment company that prides itself on being safe and fun for everyone, they didn’t want to mess with their Disney princess having the same name as a well-known adult film actress.
moana pozzi was an adult film actress who first rose to popularity in the 1980s after experimenting with the world of adult film.
Originally working under an alias because she was already the star of a children’s show and didn’t want her work to be confused.
However, it didn’t take long for the actress’s fans to discover her secret, sparking a boom in her popularity during the 1990s.
Despite her controversial previous jobs, Pozzi became a much-loved public figure in Italy, best known for her work around LGBTQ+ rights.
The history surrounding Disney’s Princess Moana and actress Moana Pozzi is a prime example of why it’s so important to do a little research before settling on a certain name or title.
By being proactive, Disney could have avoided the confusion that arose when his character had two different names.
The name vaiana comes from vai meaning water and combines it with the ending of the character’s original name, -ana.
Despite name confusion and a close relationship with an adult film actress, Moana/Vaiana has become a beloved character.