“I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat, sail across the sea and restore the heart of Te Fiti”
(From the Disney animation, ‘Moana’)
Amen, sister Moana!
A few weeks ago, Bud and I went to see the recently released Disney’s Moana and my verdict… 5 STARS!
The music was heart-warming and I LOVED the plot. The best part, however, was the character of MOANA.
Boy! Disney completely won me over with Moana!
It gladdened my heart tremendously to see a strong female character in an animation, a trend Disney started not too long ago.
I loved watching Disney animations growing up but even back then I used to wonder why all the ‘girls’ always seemed to be needing to be rescued and why was it ALWAYS a ‘handsome’ prince doing the rescuing?
I mean why were the female leads always alone or stranded, hated or persecuted by some evil entity, with the tiniest waist your blessed eyes can barely see and then finally redeemed by a man who is good looking, loaded with money and always seem to have good hair? (Come on!)
I used to think, if that was the combination it took to find me a prince charming, I might as well go find me a shack to live in and start pulling my hair out. To add to this, the culture and environment around me growing up didn’t help as well. You remember those busy bodies I spoke about in a previous post? Well, they used to tell me repeatedly that I was too loud, too outspoken and not demure enough to be appealing as a wife for a good man (Prince Charming). So I tried to be as demure, quiet (good luck with that) and serenade every creeping creature I could find (run away from snakes!) in the hopes of being a ‘proper’ girl.
The animals were not impressed!
I remember asking my dad one day “why do I have to be the one trying to appeal to someone else”? This ‘appealing’ business was so exhausting and looking back, I should have earned some money for all my labour!
Thankfully, my parents encouraged us (my brother, sister and me) to dream big. Although there was the occasional reminder of what was societally acceptable and approved, in all, they did well. Plus, in the defence of all the busy bodies, looking back, I can see how fighting with and threatening many of the boys as often as you played with them would have been a cause for concern… Maybe I was a handful then (Just saying!)
Anyway, back to Disney.
I think I enjoyed Moana a lot because she was real, aside from the “the ocean is a friend of mine” part. That to me is just a load of cheesiness! Mmhmm.
I loved Moana for the following reasons:
- Moana was a girl! A strong girl.
- She had a big dream and was a problem solver (if you haven’t watched the movie, go watch it and find out why).
- She was frightened but willing to take a risk with a bigger picture in mind. She didn’t wait for a solution to fall on her golden-girlie laps.
- She stood her ground with Maui several times and remained focused on the goal.
- She didn’t just go out on a whim, but after she got the facts straight. Yes, we girls can be emotional but being emotional is not the same as being silly (if you haven’t watched the movie, go watch it and find out why).
- She was willing to learn, use her hands and work hard (again, if you haven’t watched the movie, go watch it and find out why)
- She wasn’t drooling, swooning or batting her eyes so hard she could have caused a hurricane at the sight of Maui (you should know the drill by now – if you haven’t watched the movie, go watch it and find out why)
- She’s got great hair! (You can tell I love good hair, can’t you?)
- She was all this, and still was a girl. Nothing changed that.
- Start back at 1!
In summary, she didn’t sit in her little beautiful island crooning to the animals and waiting for Prince Harry to cruise by out of the blue on his £70million boat to sail away with her to ‘Wonderland’ (sorry girl but he’s already taken by Meghan Markle and Prince George is only 3)
I also liked how the equation between the two leads was that of friendship (just like in Zootopia) which I think is great for kids to learn from… as well as the adults (Mmhmm! learning is a continuous process). I think it’s great that it teaches little boys and girls to cultivate friendship rather than looking for romance at every turn (and giving their parents headaches and nightmares so early in their lives). The world is tough enough as it is.
I really hope Disney continues this trend – strong female characters that step out and do great things as opposed to the female character without any family or support system, oppressed to the point that even Nelson Mandela would be jealous, braiding a distressed mouse’s hair and singing Kumbaya.
‘Cause my mama taught me better than that! (thank you Destiny’s Child)