Why "Moana" Is a Must-See Movie

By Andrea Loaiza on February 27, 2017

If Disney releases a movie, you will want to watch it. It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you still play with toy cars or drive a real one.

It’s difficult to accept the fact that Disney movies, or animated films in general, are targeted to a bigger audience than we think. It’s true that most of the audience is composed of families, but that doesn’t mean that a vast majority of the audience doesn’t involve millennials.

When you get older, you start thinking that animated movies are just for kids, even though their marketing targets can fluctuate between adults and children. Sadly, people have slowly started to consider this media as targeted to children if it doesn’t include violence or offensive language. If we go to our living room and turn on the TV, it is more probable that we are going to watch an animated sitcom like The Simpsons or Adult Swim, which are characterized by their high content of violence, rather than changing to Disney Channel. Somehow, animated films are thought to have a better message to the kids out there when, in reality, everyone could benefit from them.

Disney movies have changed dramatically since a few years ago. I hope you have noticed it because the changes have been HUGE and REAL. Disney’s goal is to reflect the controversies of our time in their movies so their audience would be able to relate to them. Old Disney movies, at least the ones that involved Disney princesses, were focused more on romantic love and magic.

Snow White didn’t have special talents other than singing and cleaning. People usually like to tell me that Snow White didn’t do much because she was a 14-year-old. However, 14-year-old Moana deals with her problems in a completely different way.


There is no good versus evil

The characteristics of this movie remind me of the movies on Studio Ghibli, where the heroine must cross obstacles towards her main goal, which is always something much bigger than her. If you analyze the movie deeply enough, you will understand that it does not focus on evil vs. good but on decisions and a journey.

In an interview with Auli’i Cravalho, the voice actress for Moana, published on ScpritRant, Auli’i describes the main topics of the movie and how it differs from the others.

“The main theme, I think, of Moana is the journey that she goes on. And I think that’s something that everyone can relate to,” Auli’i Cravalho said. “The journey of self-discovery is one that everyone can relate to.”

“And I’m really excited for everyone to see it because female empowerment is so important at this time,” she said. “I think we need more heroines, and more heroes as well, but I’m so proud of Disney for thinking of it like this.”

She doesn’t have (or need) a love interest

“Many of my movies have strong female leads — brave, self-sufficient girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe with all their heart. They’ll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a savior. Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man.” — Hayao Miyazaki

I’m so proud of Studio Ghibli with their representation of women empowerment, and hopefully, Disney is learning to do the same.

We are so used to hearing in a plot of a movie that a princess needs to get married in order to rule her nation. Even though Brave focused on the relationship between a mother and a daughter, and in the end, she didn’t need a husband to rule her nation, there was always the topic of romantic love.

Moana’s father doesn’t believe in that. Even though it is believed that Moana is 14 years old in the movie, her father has started to teach her the true meaning of being the next chief. Her only companion is Maui, a demi-god, with whom she does not have a good relationship in the beginning.

It’s important to notice that Moana DOESN’T need a love interest, but a friend to complete her traveling. As Miyazaki said, girls shouldn’t be portrayed as princesses who always need a savior.

She doesn’t consider herself as a princess (HEROINE)

“I am not a princess,” Moana said.

“If you wear a dress and you have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess,” Maui argued.

Moana is breaking all the rules that Disney used to have. She is never portrayed as a girl who just waves to the people. She is shown to help her Island and give options when in need. Moana loves the ocean, but she also loves her people. Something that I loved about her is not that she hated her position of being a princess because she wanted to be a rebel, but followed her heart to do the best for her people.

“I am the daughter of the village chief.”

She is proud of her job, her descendants, her family, and her island.

More diversity

Throughout the years, Disney has tried to diversify their princesses. They created a TV series of a Latin princess called “Elena de Avalor,” which tries to embrace a lot of Latin culture in it. However, as it is a series it is less likely that people over 18 will watch it or know about it.

Now we have Moana, a girl who lives on the Island of Motunui, preparing herself to be the chief of her village. The fact that Disney is taking their time to use a legend rather than a story means a lot. While you can work and edit stories, it’s considered an offensive act to the inappropriate use of legends (and more if they are not from your own culture). Thankfully, Moana embraces the Polynesian culture. Disney even hired a 15-year-old Polynesian girl to do the voiceover. How cool is that?!

Also, Moana’s body reminds me a lot of Nani’s body, Lilo’s sister. It’s not the stereotypical measures for a Disney princess, and I think that we, as an audience, appreciate a little bit of realism in this kind of movie.


Born in Panama, but ended up living in the U.S. to attend Florida State University (Go Noles!). Currently pursuing a BA on Editing, Writing and Media with a minor in Communication, and Psychology. Trying to get involved in the different aspects that writing can allow me. Obsessed with stepping out of my comfort zone as much as I can. Bilingual. Bookaholic. Love every kind of art.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

More Uloop Entertainment Articles


12 Photos
Seminole Grand
3 Photos
Domain at Tallahassee 2/2 Sublease
29 Photos
Jackson Property Services
6 Photos
1/1 in a 4/4 Townhouse
23 Photos
Parkway Square
See all FSU Housing Listings


Receive recent FSU news and classifieds on your Facebook Feed. Click the button below and then click "Like"


Back to Top

Log In

or Sign Up
Post FREE Listings
Student Start Here
Post Jobs for Students
Employers Start Here
Housing Providers
Post Available Housing
Housing Start Here

Enter College Name to See Local Results

Log In

Contact Us

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.
By clicking Get Started or Sign In you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format