Moana is the first Polynesian Princess to join the Disney ohana. Director and Producer team Ron Clements and John Musker (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog) were joined by screenwriter Jared Bush (Zootopia), co-head of Animation Amy Smeed (Tangled, Frozen, Big Hero 6), and producer Osnat Shurer (Pixar shorts) on the “Moana: Art of Story” panel July 21, 2016 at San Diego Comic Con.
In Part One of this article, we learned about the story of Moana, as she set off on an epic journey to save her people from the darkness caused by Maui. We also learned about the research that directors Ron and John did to create an authentic Polynesian story.
In this article, we will explore the main characters in depth, as well as the authentic Polynesian details that truly distinguish this film.
(This article was originally published on LaughingPlace.com on July 28, 2016).
Maui is the demi-god of the wind and the sea, self-dubbed the “greatest demi-god in all the Pacific Islands” and the “hero of man.”
Maui is a shape shifter, and wields his magical fishhook: ‘he slowed down the sun, pulled islands out of the sea, battled monsters.’ He has a bit of an ego too, carving his autograph on canoe paddles with a heart and a hook.
All this does not impress Moana, as she is on a quest to get Maui to restore the heart of ‘Te Fiki.’ Maui is surprised to find that he is inadvertently the ‘bad guy.’ By stealing the heart of ‘Te Fiki,’ he had caused a darkness to spread across the seas.
Maui goes shirtless through the film, which made modeling accurate muscle movements an important aspect of his character development. He sports tribal tattoos all over his body that “tell of his exploits.” He literally can “give you his backstory” says producer Shurer.