There are so many reasons to love Disney’s much-anticipated new animated film, Moana. Let’s start with the title character herself. Who and what Moana is is as important to us as an audience in the twenty-first century as what she represents. For generations, we have grown up with Disney animations giving us strong female characters who are looking to be saved by brave, yet flawed, male characters who must fall in love with them for their inner beauty. Damsels in distress, trapped in castle towers by evil stepmothers.
Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) is not a “Disney Princess”. She is not an orphan (hurrah!) but in fact has two healthy, happy and loving parents – Chief Tui (Temuera Morrison) and Sina (Nicole Scherzinger) – who are very much alive. Even better still, she has a beautiful grandmother, Gramma Tala (Rachel House) who is considered by their people as slightly eccentric as she is always telling scary monster stories to the children and dancing on the beach. Moana is not looking to be saved by Prince Charming, nor is she looking for love or validation from any man.
So who is Moana and what is all the fuss about? Continue reading