Moana: Disney Movies Everywhere Series


Disney’s Moana

Year released: 2016

Era: New Renaissance

Run Time: 113 mins.

Is it a Vault movie? No (What is a Vault movie?)

Available via: Pre-order through Amazon, Target

Is it animated? Yes

Is it a musical? Yes

Is it age appropriate? Yes


Moana tells the tale of a strong-willed princess Polynesian tribal heiress who is chosen by the ocean to sail to the legendary demigod Maui and restore the heart of a godess to save her people.

Time Warp Notes:

Controversy about Maui in trivia below.  There is also a single time-stamped joke about Twitter in an otherwise classically set film.

Related characters in Disney Parks (and where they appear):

  • None currently

Related attractions that appear in the parks:

  • None currently

Related landscape in the parks:

  • The Polynesian Resort

Character/movie merchandise:

In the parks

Disney Store Moana Shop


Disney Nerd Trivia:

  • Trivia: Maui was initially criticized for his size prior to the movie’s release. There is a stereotype of obesity for the Polynesian culture and the Maui legends is often a skinny teen.  The physique of the movie’s Maui is actually based on Dwayne Johnson’s grandfather, a Samoan wrestling legend named Peter Maivia.
  • Trivia: Most of the main cast are of Polynesian descent. Main cast members hail from Hawaii, New Zealand, Maori, and Samoa.
  • Trivia: The music was composed by a combination of Lin-Manuel Miranda (best known for Hamilton) and Opetaia Foa’i, a Samoan songwriter.  A similar mix of American pop composer and authentic cultural songwriter was used for the Lion King. Both men sing within the film during the song, “We Know the Way”.
  • Trivia: The entirety of Moana is CGI, except for a small hand-drawn part: Maui’s tattoos.
  • Oddities: Actor Alan Tudyk has been Disney’s lucky charm since Wreck-It Ralph in 2012, and has appeared in every Disney movie since then.  He was originally not offered a role in Moana because the directors wanted an authentic South Polynesian cast.  After script changes, Tudyk was offered the bit role, and recorded his part in less than half a day in the studio.
  • Inside Jokes: Directors John Musker and Ron Clements also directed the Little Mermaid. They intentionally layered in references to the other Disney blockbuster throughout the movie, including a reference to Sebastian the Crab in the post-credit sequence.
  • Story Origins: The story is an attempt to explain the 1,000 year time gap when islanders stopped voyaging and settling in Polynesia.

Notable voices

  • Auli’i Cravalho
  • Dwayne Johnson (aka “The Rock”)
  • Jermaine Clement
  • Alan Tudyk

Notable songwriters

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda

Further Reading

Further Watching

Further Listening

If you enjoy this movie, you may also like:

  1. Lilo and Stitch
  2. The Little Mermaid
  3. The Lion King

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