Young Moana is told the story of the demigod Maui stealing the heart of Te Fiti then losing it to the sea, then she discovers she can control the water. She grows up and she’s trained to take over as chief. The fish are going away so Moana wants to go beyond the reef, but her dad won’t allow it. She considers putting a rock on a stack of rocks that will symbolize that she’s accepted her chiefdom, but instead she gets in a boat and tries to go beyond the reef.
Why Moana might be hard to identify with: She has no friends other than animals that don’t talk.
- She has a complex culture and mythology, including songs and dances.
- There’s a prophesy that someone will save their village, but it’s not necessarily about her.
- We see the complex economy of the village, with 20 different jobs that have to get done.
- She’s stubborn. Her grandmother sings, “You are your father’s daughter / Stubbornness and pride / Mind what he says, but remember / You may hear a voice inside / And if the voice starts to whisper / To follow the farthest star / Moana that voice inside is who you are.”
- She’s got objects representing her choices: Putting stones on the stack represents becoming chief.
- She’s not allowed to do what she was born to do. “We have one rule, a rule that keeps us safe.” She’s supposedly been made chief, but she can’t do what needs to be done. “There’s nothing beyond our reef but storms and rough seas.” “Motunui is paradise, who would want to go anywhere else?”
- She says of her dad: “He doesn’t get me.”
- She has superpowers. She can control the ocean water.
- She’s got (limited) decision-making ability: “You are the next great chief of our people.”
- She’s handy and resourceful: She can fix a leak in the ceiling of a hut.
- She makes wise decisions on tree planting and fishing grounds.
- She’s kind: She tries to protect a turtle trying to make it to the sea.
Strength / Flaw: Adventurous / Disobedient (Which isn’t really a flaw, so she’s not really flawed)