Moana: Reconnecting to Our Hearts

Disney's Moana and Maui

Disney’s Moana and Maui

One day while collecting seashells Princess Moana found a heart.

It had once belonged to the island goddess Te Fiti — until the trickster god Maui stole it to enhance his strength. But the lava demon Te Ka fought Maui for it, and the heart was lost.

Lacking this vital organ, Princess Moana’s island began to die.

On her deathbed, Moana’s grandmother told her to return the heart to the goddess. 

And so Moana set sail, facing great obstacles along the way, including a father who forbade her from leaving the island, Maui — who turned from foe to friend and back again, pirates, and the demon Te Ka.

On her journey Moana grew resourceful, gained courage and learned to navigate by the stars.

But she also failed and lost faith in herself and her quest. Throwing the heart into the sea, she asked the ocean to find someone more worthy to fulfill the quest.

And then her grandmother’s spirit appeared and told her to find her true calling.

I won’t give away the ending.

I will say that I love the message of the hero’s journey.

Believe in yourself

The hero’s journey of Disney’s Moana says: believe in yourself. Have the courage to do what you know you must. Follow your intuition, your higher self. And if you accept the adventure invisible hands will aid you.

Moana felt she was the wrong person for the quest? But the ocean had chosen her by leaving the heart for her to find. Moana means ocean. Sometimes we are chosen even when we don’t feel worthy of the cause.

Develop your whole self

Some see the goal of the hero’s adventure as developing your whole self — the other half of you.

Our society makes us into half-humans: Men come to reject their “feminine side” and women are discouraged from fully developing their “masculine side.” The hero/heroine goes in search of oneness with the best parts of themselves: the courageous heart, the loving heart.

We must seek connection to our heart. Without it we die.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on November 30, 2016, in psychology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 67 Comments.

  1. I always joke around and tell everyone the main story line that Moana is trying to pitch to the nation is to NEVER interrupt one when they are sleeping – there will be fiery consequences!

    But on a more serious and relevant note, as soon as I heard word that Disney was coming out with their first Pacific Islander princess, I was beyond ecstatic! I was praying that she wouldn’t look like her previous successors: thin and was satisfied when I saw her skin color was the same as mine, her build much thicker.

    What I appreciated, and found interesting as the movie was in its developing stages was the fact that they staged Moana without a love interest. Arguments erupted saying what kind of princess is she if she doesn’t have a prince? But true to this article’s story line, Moana stayed true to herself by relying on the strong woman in her life and not needing a man’s validation for her to do what she wanted, what she felt was right.

    In the Polynesian culture of Tonga, women are seen as the head of the house. In Samoa, it is common to see women doing what Americans would deem as “manly duties”: i.e taking out the trash, farming, etc etc.

    In closing, ringing true to Moana, always believe in yourself even when the odds are stacked up against you. Never settle for less because you will be helped. All you have to do is follow your heart and ultimately restore it^^

  2. I liked Moana and I thought it felt fresh and new – not necessarily in the messages we’ve seen over and over again, but in the execution. The animation, soundtrack and storytelling were beautifully done and were what resonated with me. The soundtrack was especially important in invoking the sense of cultural pride, and importance. I felt at times a sort of sexual tension between Moana and Maui created in part by the lack of a love story/romance. I don’t know where to take that thought so someone else could probably expand on that. One thing I found funny was how closely some of the soundtrack resembled parts of the Hamilton soundtrack. I knew that Lin-Manuel Miranda co-wrote it but it really felt as if some parts of the melody were taken directly from Hamilton. When I got home and I listened to the soundtracks together, it was actually pretty difficult to find the similarities and differences became more apparent, which says something about the impact of musical style on my perception of music.

    • Some interesting thoughts. I noticed a little bit of sexual tension between the two of them too, and I’m not sure if that’s because I’m so used to a romantic story that my mind inserted it.

      I guess it makes sense that those songs from The movie would be similar to the songs from the Broadway play since it was the same writer, huh?

  3. I have your post scheduled for next Monday. People Who respond on my blog tend not to be negatively annoying because of my comment policy and because I screen comments. i’m not sure what the comment policy at GMP is these days. Personally, I never worry about it. I just don’t read the comments. But that is something to consider too.”

    That’s good to know. I figured your comment policy would block out rude people. I think thqt’s important especially for, if or when that alternate society thing I posted that you liked if women were ranked above men. I could see some insecure macho men criticizing it and saying men in that realm would be pussies and critique the thought even venturing there or why, etc.

    And I hope guys don’t think I’m saying women are always diplomatic and not confrontational, because I’ve definitely see confrontational women and laid back guys doing the listening and heart to heart stuff instead.My point was not simply confronting, because women can have tempers and be sassy etc. But there is a difference which maybe as much to do with culture as biology where it seems obvious men are more likely to confront with rage or in that manner as doing so, brings out the better chance for violence. Going that route makes a person more impulsive which can spur violence easier too. And like everybody knows as far as not just crimes in general, but violent crimes whether assaults, or murder, homicide, kidnappings,you name it. Men are the vast majority perpetrators.

    So it makes me think how society and culture plays a role with this, with women committing much less than men and men committing much more as a result of how both internalize and express their emotions as a result as explained with moana and maui. I mean something has to be in play here, because it doesn’t even have to be criminals or murderers, etc. But I mean just think of how I’ve seen non criminal, joe schmos at the bar or at a sports stadium. The guys are drunk and next thing you know, two dudes or more getting in a fist fight and more often over something stupid. Yes I’ve seen girls fight at a bar before and in school., but still the majority is still guys fighting especially at bars and especially at sports stadiums, especially pro sports stadiums like football and baseball and the mixture of alcohol. Women drink and get drunk too like men, yet you don’t see women getting in stupid fights nearly as much as guys.

    • Okay, I tried to reflect this by saying things like “Most women” and bringing up culture’s effects.

      • Thanks. I was just bringing it up, because I could see that being the argument by some of the male posters. You know who I’m talking about, if they post, that women can be confrontational too. But yeah I think you obviously know what I meant or behind it as far as how this handling of conflicts and problems, is more often handled with might and aggression by men as evidence by the huge violent crime disparity between men and women. And how women though having some confrontational anger, seem whether by nature, but maybe culture to solve problems and talk it out or other means like moana in the movie.

      • I think the wording should work.

  4. I wanted to add though, like how you said, they both helped each other. She helped more so and that was my focus but I think his assertiveness and confidence rubbed off on her, so masculine qualities that helped her just like more feminie qualities that helped him in the end. His cockiness was bad, but while her humility was good, moana in the beginning didn’t believe in herself and had doubts. Him showing her how to steer the boat helped add to her confidence in the end of the movie so the exchange of each male and female strengths weaknesses, to better both of them and showing how being balanced as a whole with both traits is good, and not good suppressing one or the other.

    • Ok. Thanks.

      btw, this is really good . Given timing (video v theatre release) not sure Good Men Project would take it, but I’d like to try. Also not sure they’d accept a pseudonym. Let me know if you’re interested in me reaching out to them.

      • I’m not sure. But in the most recent time, I’m cool with you posting it, which you said you will. After that, I’ll see. But I’m fine just with it being posted here or for the near future.

      • I have your post scheduled for next Monday. People Who respond on my blog tend not to be negatively annoying because of my comment policy and because I screen comments. i’m not sure what the comment policy at GMP is these days. Personally, I never worry about it. I just don’t read the comments. But that is something to consider too.

  5. Thanks. I like how you kept most of what I wrote, but put it all together well and cohesive. Very, well written and yes that looks good and you can post it. Kind of crazy how many parallels a disney movie can have to real life, and something a person casually watching may not realize until looking at it in depth and analyzing. Speaking of that movie, I could be wrong but I know you said native americans were matriarchal during the early times or some of the tribes. I thought, thought probably not like the native americans. Probably not nowadays, but I thought samoan people which Mauia and Moana represent, They had matrileanal aspects too. I thought the elderly women were respected for samoan people and this higher respect of the motherly figures of the society or tribe. I’m sure you would know.

    • Yes, Pacific Islanders tended toward gender equality, too.

      A very thoughtful, insightful piece Bob. Thanks. It’ll be up soon (But more Handmaid’s Tale next week, as it’s when the series premiers.)

      • Thanks.

        “But in a heart to heart Moana told him that he’s more than that weapon. And there’s more to his worth than being powerful in that way. She told him that he could help people, which was her task. ”

        I think she also pointed out that, he has more worth to him than his success and power. As great as he was and sounded, the truth was that even a demi-god himself had insecurities. His fears and struggles I feel were symbolically protected by his weapon as it allowed him to feel powerful and give him this worth that he maybe didn’t feel he inherantly had. She touched on how he can help people, but also I think her greatest value was seeing him for who he truly is and not the “facade” he was showing with his bravado. She was saying basically “yes you have insecurities and have weaknesses and are and can be vulneralbe”.

        But while he saw that as bad, she explained basically that it is what makes him great. The person inside, that heart he has inside that he covers up. It’s not his accomplishments that is of value but his actual worth deep down inside stripped away from the materials and ego driven things. You see, she made him see a side i think he didn’t see of himself or perhaps rediscovered after she showed him the light. It’s not the talent someone has or abilities that makes them wonderful, it’s their love, personality, heart, character, compassion that makes a person wonderful and true worth. He never saw his true worth, she helped him see it. This kind of makes me think of the Wizard of Oz. The flashy powerful Oz, makes me think of Maui with his brashness, but yet there he is, just like the man behind the curtain. The man behind the curtain was surprised when dorthy saw him as more than he thought he was when he was seen in a vulnerable state and not in his powerful facade. Like Maui, when his weapon lost power and almost broken, it’s like he felt she got a glimpse of him “behind the curtain”and in a vulnerable state. He didn’t think he had much worth without that powerful projection just like in wizard of oz, she made him realize there’s so much more to life and one;s worth than being powerful and he always had worth, he just never knew it or he didn’t know there’s more to him or infact greater things about him that is much better and more important that power. It’s his heart.

  6. I know I wrote a lot, I hope you can check it though. I think it’s thought provoking stuff and you’d appreciate. Well as long as you’ve already seen the movie. If you haven’t then I wouldn’t want to spoil it ha. It seemed like you did because of the review.

    • Hey Bob. Those are some really good thoughts. I’m hoping you don’t mind if I post them. I’ll approve them after I get to a Computer that I can work with better.

      • that’s fine. I hope I didn’t spoil anything, because I did let on a lot as far as what happened in the movie. It seemed like you did see it, so I went forward with what happened throughout the movie. If not, my bad. I think you should still see the movie if you haven’t though, despite my writing here.

      • What do you think of this edit?

        “Moana,” Men and Masculinity

        By Bob

        Moana is out on video so I bought it for my niece and nephew. As we watched it I was surprised at the truths it told about men and masculinity.

        In the story (spoiler alert), Princess Moana’s island began to die because the island goddess, Te Fiti, lost her heart in a struggle with the demi-god Maui, who stole it to enhance his power.

        Moana learned that for the island to live, the goddess must regain her heart, so she quested out to return it. On her journey she met Maui — who worked at times as friend and at times as foe.

        Maui, Moana and “me over you” vs partnership mindsets

        Maui reflects both the good and ill of masculine behavior.

        He’s not a bad guy, but he carries an ego that can get in the way of his better intentions, and the path of true good — like when he stole the goddess’ heart to become more powerful. We’ve all heard about the male ego and the male fight for power, right?

        And Maui holds the protypical “hierarchal’ mindset that puts him above others. He felt superior to Moana — not because of his gender but because he’s a demi-god after all, and she’s a mere mortal.

        His superior attitude and his quest to enhance his power reflects his domination values.

        On the flip side, Moana reflects “partnership” values. She wants the best for her people, not just what’s best for herself and her ego. Despite Maui’s brash attitude, she works with him and finds ways to be diplomatic in her approach. She is strong and independent, but never felt superior to Maui, or like she wouldn’t need him.

        Against Maui’s machismo Moana is in touch with her whole self — both her “feminine” and “masculine” sides.

        Moana to Maui: You are more than your weapon

        In his quest, Maui used a magic weapon that was almost entirely broken by the Lava Demon. It seemed to symbolized his conquests, success and power — in fact, his worth. Without it he felt defeated and lost. How could he be the great Maui with this broken weapon?

        But in a heart to heart Moana told him that he’s more than that weapon. And there’s more to his worth than being powerful in that way. She told him that he could help people, which was her task. 

        That conversation parallels real life. In my experience guys don’t talk about their problems because we are so often ego driven and feel like we can’t be vulnerable or dependent.

        But she got him to express his tender, feminine side, which helped him to heal. With her partnership mindset, Moana counseled and consoled Maui. And their relationship — learning from each other — shows how men and women can support each other and help each other heal.

        “Power over” versus “power with”

        And then there’s the difference between how Maui and Moana sought to solve the problem — Maui thru brute strength and Moana thru her heart.

        Maui sought to battle and overpower the lava demon, and wasn’t effective.

        But Moana realized that the creature had lost its heart and she became aware that returning it would bring redemption. 

        So much symbolism here. First I think it symbolizes how, unfortunately, men’s aggressive mindset suppresses our tender side. Men often have rage at the forefront, when deep inside we are actually sad or hurting, but blinded by rage.

        The answer is not to combat with rage, but to be in touch with our compassion.

        Women are better at this than guys and guys fail at this so often, it seems. Maybe it’s because women are encouraged to be more nurturing. So Moana discovered that the Lava Demon had lost it’s heart and reached out with compassion to heal it.

        The creature was actually the goddess who was angered by what was taken from her.

        It makes me think of how women I know personally have much better communication skills than men. Maybe it’s because of our culture, but some things women do so much better than men, and I include myself in that.

        In a confrontation women seem to either use reverse psychology or talk it out. It’s listening: “I know why you’re upset, you have every reason to be, but this is why I’m helping you…” It disarms an angry person and works better than confrontation.

        Moana disarmed the angry lava creature because she showed she cared. That’s all the creature needed to be complete again — for someone to see it’s pain and show they cared. 

        And then the tender inside, once covered up by anger, can heal.

        Behind it all Maui has a good heart. He just needed to peel back his insecurities and let go of the bravado he put forth to boost his ego. In the end he grows more empathetic and caring. Maybe there’s a lessen in their of all of us men.

        “Bob,” made this comment on a post, which I edited.

  7. I ended up writing more than I meant. So many points that I think you’d appreciate that came to me after seeing the movie. A little bit more to add.

    -Moana was not only the hero in the movie, but she, with her partnership skills that you believe would make the world be better that she symbolized. She was like a counselor to Maui. When he felt he lost his self worth because of his instrument being broken or thought he couldn’t defeat the lava monster or get past it. She told him heart to heart that he’s more than that weapon and basically showed him there’s more to his worth than being powerful but how he can help people which is why she was on the task. More symbolism to real life since guys don’t talk about their problems ofter and ego driven and such.She made him express the tender, feminine side to him, which helped him though. So much of this film can related to our society and like between men and women and how they could help each other.

    -The most telling part and I knew what was going to happen with the heart. I hate to admit this, maybe not men but because our culture. But somethings women do so much better than guys and I can include myself. Maui always though to battle the lava demon, but she used her mind to go around. But at the end she saw there wasn’t an island. And the lava creature didn’t have it’s heart. So much symbolism here. First I think it symbolizes unfortunately men. Or that aggressive mindset or culture where because of being lost or supressing that tender side, people and well men often can have rage and that’s the forefront, when deep inside it’s because they are sad or hurting, but too blinded by rage. And the answer is not from another person to combat it with equal rage, but the compassion part comes in. What women are better than guys and guys fail at so often it seems. Maybe it’s women being more nurturing. She saw the lava create or discoveed it’s loss with the loss of it’s heart. She came over with compassion and to heal it.

    The creature was actually the goddess Te Ka, but unnerved in anger from what was taken from her. It makes me think of, how women I know personally, like communication skills that men don’t seem to have as well. Where in a confrontation women seem to be able to use either reverse psychology or being of the nature of trying to talk it out. It’s listening or like “I know why you’re upset, you have every reason to be, but this is why I’m helping you or this and that” Like psychology it’s true. It disarms an angered person or can and works better than the equal confrontation. She disarmed the angry lava creature, because she showed she cared, that’s all the creature wanted was to be complate again and for someone to show they care and see it’s pain. Those layers give away to the tender side inside covered up by anger, even tho this was a female te ka, it makes me think of men and how men use their anger.

  8. Happy Easter btw and I’m sure you’ve seen the movie or think you have. But I wanted to put my take now that I’ve seen the movie. I bought the movie for both my niece and nephew for easter. And with my family, we watched Moana even though my niece and nephew have both seen it. They enjoyed it so it was good I bought the dvd for them. They liked it so much they wanted to watch it again and it was my first time seeing it today. Anyway, I thought it was interesting the layers this disney, computer graphic movie had to it and more than the old one’s had of the past. But there are some things that struck me that I will try to point out in bullet form.

    -Mauia did become more caring, he was never a bad guy’, but had mixed intentions that got in the way of true good.

    -This reflects on the bad and good side of masculine behaviour, good in moana’s side, but the bad from Maui. Maui, led by his ego a lot and it got in the way of or blinded him at times of the true purpose or what the best route is.

    -Moana in the flipside was the opposite of “proud, ego centric” but her roots and her view was more humble. This also I wanted to point out how both symbolized on the macro level, how maui had a protypical “hierarchal’ thought process that got in the way of his better intentions and to be at times more selfish. Moana, was more “partnership” in her views, often times wanting what is best for her people, not for her ego but also despite Maui’s brash attitude, she wanted to work with him and she found ways to be diplomatic in her approach to work with him. She was strong and independent, but never where she seemed like she was better than Maui or wouldn’t need him.

    -Maui often didn’t have that same respect because he’s a demi-god after all and played into that hierachal mindset with ranking and how he is superior. They played it out well in the film that it wasn’t her ‘sex’ which is why he was superior but he being a mortal, whereas, he’s a demi-god unlike the puny human, mortals like her.

    -It showed Maui did have good intentions or heart behind it all. He just needed one to peel back the layers and insecurities he was putting forth to boost his own ego. I found it very interesting when to me his accomplishes and how great he was. Despite that, some of that you learned were like that mike posner post you wrote. Where he thought ‘being powerful” and great was living the life and also what his worth was. Which has the big ups and downs. It meant he had tatoos of his succes, but that weapon he had which was powerful. It meant he placed most or all of his worth upon his success and conquests, and that magic weapon gave him that power and symbolized it. At the end when it was almost broken, he felt defeated and lost. Like “who is he and what is his worth if he can’t be the great maui anymore, since his weapon could break from the lava demon”.

  9. I Just watched this last week and I completely agree with the way you see this movie. She had to look beyond if she thought she could do it or not and realize she needed to find it within herself for her island. Moana is a true hero. I also noticed quickly how Disney wasn’t afraid to show moana’s masculine side showing her fighting, sailing, getting dirty. I thought everything about the movie was great and i’m glad Disney is starting to make movies like this where Moana isn’t searching for a prince or needing to be saved by a man.

  10. I watched this movie last week, and I really liked the story compared to other Disney Princess movie, because there is no handsome prince to help Moana unlike other movies. She looked like making her decision by herself all the time, and the person who led Moana to her goal is also her grandmother, a female. I felt like Disney is saying that women can do anything without any help from male, that’s why I liked the movie. I didn’t expect this because Disney has always romantic love story after all.

  11. I have not had the chance to see this movie. But I personally love Disney movies. I can say that there has been a change to the endings of this movies. For example I live Cinderella but if it weren’t for the prince she would have not been freed from her stepmother. Moana in the other hand needed only yo discover her self. I think the message is very important for both female and males. But mostly women who have been thought to feel protected by a man. Males are in charged to protect and care for us women. Times have changed and it is nice to see a change in this movies that carry great messages go us viewers.

  12. I loved this movie! In recent years Disney has really gotten away from the princess that needs to be saved, which is totally amazing. I really liked the messages in this movie, because I think that now women are not just looking forward to getting married and having children. Now, women are looking forward to other things before they get married, like developing a sense of self and developing professionally. So I think for little girls to see Moana really helps them see that they can learn to develop a sense of self. Another thing this movie showed was that Moana did not need a man to save her, which I think is also another good thing for little girls to see.

  13. I agree, I saw this movie with my niece and nephew and I really did enjoy it. Moana went beyond even if it meant disobeying her father because she believed that was what she was supposed to do. Although she thought she wasn’t the one from the job, she followed her heart because it was calling for her. I think it will encourage kids to follow their hearts and desires to reach true happiness. In some way everyone experiences this throughout life, at some point not trusting one self but it s important to follow what you feel.

  14. In a world where a woman’s strength is looked down upon its nice to see disney creating positive characters like mona for little children to look up to. Mona teaches little kids that you can go and conquer the world and she also teaches little girls that you can be strang, brave, beautiful, and smart all at the same time. It teaches little boys to appreciate strong women and to not be frightened by them. No longer will cinderella be who little girls look to for role models. I have to commend disney for this. I feel as if disney as a whole is changing. I mean they are now starting to portray women in strong positions and showing the world that a women can do what a man can do.

  15. Ive heard so many good things about this movie especially regarding the message behind it which made me want to go watch it even more. Moana deals with empowerment of oneself and truly believing that you can do anything that you put your mind to. To follow your heart and to reach ones goals is one of the main themes that I think stands out the most. She went through so many ups and downs and doubted herself which caused her to feel conflicted with her inner self. But her determination to never give up caused her to reach her goal in the end and thats the great message that it gave to its viewers.

  16. I watched the movie and I think it reflects on millennial generation. I am connected to the movie as it reflects on my journey too. Although, parents are sometime overprotected, mom tend to be the one who aid her children for their journey. That’s how I get a chance to study in the US. A journey to find the whole you is really tough and that’s how we learn to be us. Success is not a straight line. The movie also mirrors culture and belief on women. Chief’s daughter is allowed to role the village after her father unlike the past. Maui learned to trust and guide his female fellow. I think that what we need to a chance to be trust and guided and not be judged by being a woman.

  17. Needless to say, this movie is going to be amazing. Disney has a way of strumming our heartstrings in a beautiful melody. I’m particularly excited for Moana because of what you outlined in your post- the moral. Like many societies, ours is in need of acceptance. Many times people feel like their feelings are wrong, their intuition is false and they aren’t who they’re supposed to be (mostly because of societal ideals and cultural beliefs). Personally, i’ve always been scared of that voice within me that I consider to be my true self. I’ve tried repressing it, telling myself that my opinions are “too bold” and my non linear thinking strategies were “stupid”. Self-doubt began to brew. This was especially a huge issue once I got to college and had to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Having people tell me I shouldn’t pursue certain careers because they were not “fit” for me was crushing. Sometime ago, I accepted my heart for what it is and it was the best decision yet.

    Moana will inspire young (and old, maybe) people to listen to their inner guides and follow their hearts to reach true happiness and self-fulfillment. Movies that preach the importance of believing in oneself are more impactful than one may think. I’m convinced there is some sort of scientific algorithm behind these disney movies that is intricately designed to warm your soul. Although Moana does indirectly touch on religion, I think a “higher power” could be translated as many things- perhaps things not at all associated with religion. Finally, i think it’s safe to say history will be made with this sweet film and I can’t wait to watch.

  18. I also loved the message of the hero’s journey in Moana. Moana had many emotional points, and ups and downs, such as when Moana lost faith in herself and felt she was the wrong person to deliver the heart to the island goddess Te Fiti. The scene Moana gives the heart back to the ocean was a very emotional one. It dealt with things like self worth, faith, and the strength to carry on. Moana finds her self worth and carries on, and once again believes in herself – she perseveres. A strong female character such as Moana is a good influence for young girls who watch the movie, and teach them that they can succeed if they believe in themselves and persevere. It seemed that Moana did not succeed because she was chosen; she was chosen because the ocean knew she was strong and could persevere. Moana is a positive role model for young girls, and women as well, as she takes matters into her own hands and is determined to succeed. She is by no means a damsel in distress; she goes on journeys and adventures despite whatever may be holding her back.

  19. I love this post on the Moana movie. More than anything I like the message that the movie brings to everyone but more so for girls. I think that in the times we are living in it’s getting to be such a challenge for young girls to believe in their skills and in their courage to the point that they give up and pass on the baton to someone else. Movies like Moana and Zootopia bring a strong message to girls that they can thrive in any situation, against all odds and sometimes even against the wall that they built themselves. I remember when I took my ten yr old daughter to watch Zootopia I was just so pleased with the movie and the characters. The message behind the character of Officer Judy Hopps in Zootopia was that even in a field where men were the leaders ( police officers) she was able to earn a spot as a community officer and did not settle to be a parking violation officer. We have yet to watch Moana but now I think we are going to enjoy it just as much.

  20. Moana was probably one of the better “princess” movies that have recently come out within the past ten years. Such as Disney’s Mulan, this movie wasn’t focused on finding love or going on an adventure with someone who ends up being “The One”. This movie focused on the empowerment of our protagonist, Moana, who is the daughter of the Chief of her land. The movie focuses on the development of Moana and how she learns who she is, determined to save her people and her land from the dark forces of evil that Maui accidentally released when stealing the heart.
    Moana is a strong young female who learns how to take care of herself and how to use her skills to her advantage. She is kind and very determined to have Maui return the heart. Moana defies the stereotypes of women being weak and having to depend on a man to save her. Even without Maui, Moana managed to strategize and find ways around and through danger.

  21. I can’t wait to watch this movie! I feel like lately more and more Disney movies and portraying more and more strong women characters who don’t need men to succeed or to save them. From the trailers and what I’ve heard about this movie no man is needed for Moana. It’s about her trying to find her purpose and believing in herself when she just want to give up on her quest. This movie, like many Disney movies, has such a positive and motivating message. I wish that they will soon do the same with men/boy characters where their story is not revolved around a women. I have 5 nephews and all the ‘boy’ movies are usually animated and not human (cars, planes, snails, dinosaurs, fish) and there is always a girl they rescue or change for. I think the only ones I’ve seen so far is Turbo and The Good Dinosaur and of course neither are of a human boy on a mission, The Good Dinosaur is borderline, but the story messages are both very strong and motivating.

    • I’m loving the evolution of Disney princesses!

    • I agree with your input on the recent movies and evolution that has taken place lately. I love movies like Zootopia and now Moana that have an inspirational message behind them for young girls to continue to follow their goals and find courage within themselves. As a mother of a five year old boy I agree with you that there is not much of a selection of movies with human characters portraying such a strong message other than The Good Dinosaur and also The Jungle Book which does feature a young boy as the main character who undergoes this whole journey of self discovery in the jungle fighting off all kinds of dangers.I just think that maybe the message is much more relevant for young girls because as we know gender inequality is still something that women struggle today.

  22. Beautifully written. The message is profound and we should always remember it… 🙂


    Nice article! I believe that this movie could potentially have an impact on females’ lives, because it teaches females to be strong and to never give up! I also feel like this movie relates to the movie,” Kung Fu Panda,” because Po, the panda was taught to believe in himself, once after, he discovered that there was no secret ingredient into making the noodles. And with that said, that movie inspired me, to become more confident, because no matter your size, nor your look, you can still do a lot of things and achieve in life.

  24. I really liked the message the movie tries to promote. Believing in yourself and having the courage to do what you must to protect all the people you love is very important for young people to learn, especially for girls. Growing up, there were many times where I had to learn how to take on responsibilities that I thought I wasn’t ready for. I think that’s something that everyone goes threw. The only thing about the message in the movie that bothers me and of which I do not necessarily agree with would be this idea of being chosen to do something great by a greater power. Of course this opens up some debate with religion and theorist of how important are we really on this planet. It’s comforting to thing that we have destinies and play an important role in life, but I think this promotes a false home in our futures. We can not wait around waiting for our “calling” in our lives. We have to take the initiative to succeed on our own terms.

    • Well you can be called to do something by a greater power or by something inside of yourself — your higher self so to speak, if you don’t take the movie literally. Thanks for your thoughts!

  25. Very profound. I was compelled to look up the story to see how it ended. 🙂

  26. I actually like a lot of the pixar or animated movies. Some have better storylines and plots better than actual movies. I haven’t seen this, but I heard it actually did well in the box office and one of the top movies and beat out other movies.

  27. Beautifully written…

  28. Hi Georgia…Thank you for sharing this with us…”We must seek connection to our heart. Without it we die.” Wishing you a day of Gentle winds—Soft curves and Wonder…Phil

  29. you always brings great surprises, but also excellent material to learn and enjoy reading it..

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