"Moana": a New Age Princess Breaks the Mold

Maggie Lager

Disney has truly outdone themselves with their latest animated film. A princess story like no other, “Moana” is a film that speaks to the heart and soul of everyone and anyone, regardless of age or gender.
The film follows young Polynesian princess, Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho), on a quest to restore the heart of the sea to it’s rightful owner and, in doing so, save her homeland. Of course, she isn’t entirely on her own. First, Moana and her pet chicken, Heihei, must find Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), the shapeshifting individual who is held responsible for stealing the heart of the sea in the first place.
This film, like most Disney films, although targeted at kids, is more than just a children’s movie. “Moana’s” modern and innovative animation, breathtaking original soundtrack by Lin Miranda, author of the Broadway musical Hamilton, and timely themes make the film a must-see for people of all ages.
While “Moana” is an entertaining film, Disney obviously intended to send some important messages to its viewers as well. Common themes throughout the film include the power of teamwork, compassion, and resilience. “Moana” demonstrates to viewers, young girls in particular, that no matter what challenges you are currently facing, they can be overcome, first and foremost, by believing in and loving yourself. Although, a little help along the way may be necessary.
Moana has love and compassion for everyone, be it a chicken or a thief, and she demonstrates through her actions that everyone has something to offer, regardless of their past, intelligence or ability to express themselves through words.
“Moana” is an important and revolutionary film in that it is so different from all of the other princess movies Disney has created. With a few exceptions, previous Disney princesses have done the things that you would expect them to do. They  lull around the kingdom, meeting men and singing to birds. Unlike princesses of the past, the only thing about Moana that inherently makes her a princess is the fact that she is the daughter of a King and Queen. If it weren’t for that, the title superhero would be more appropriate.