The world is buzzing from Disney’s new trailer release for Moana.
If you haven’t seen it already, we’ve come to know that several things are very clear. Moana will be the first Polynesian princess, setting itself apart from the norm. This is a great step towards diversifying the representation of Disney princesses, as social media continues to grow with expectation. Moana is adventurous, intentionally built sturdier than other females represented.
In a report by N4BB, we we see details on the elements that make up Moana. While we know the movie will be visually amazing, there are details that don’t seem apparent at first glance. This is the first nearly entirely animated by computer film for directors Musker and Clements. Certain elements have been drawn by hand. Additionally, it’s a guarantee that the movie’s graphics will lend to the hilarious and touching moments that Disney is known to provide.
However, it may come as a concern that Princess Moana and her Polynesian history will be portrayed inaccurately. According to Stuff, social media users are already criticizing actions by Disney in regards to the film’s elements.
Disney has a history with portraying characters and their physical characteristics, such as clothing, architectural structuring, and actual historical facts, incorrectly. Princess Jasmine’s style of dress would provide an example of this. Given the time period in which the movie should be taking place in, she seems to lack in dressing.
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To further the speculation, Princess Aurora’s dress as a peasant makes yet another exhibit when she’s informed of her true parentage. It’s speculated that she should have been dressed in an entirely different style, her hair worn differently. Pocahontas was 11 years old when she met John Smith. Despite her culture suggesting that she was a woman at the age of 13, Disney appeared to have taken creative liberties on the matter.
According to TIME, it’s said that Moana will be an “Anti-Princess.”The idea for the animated feature to be set in the Pacific Islands was created five years ago by John Musker, who was inspired by novels from Herman Melville and Joseph Conrad. There’s also inspiration from paintings by Paul Gauguin. Recognizing that all of these perspectives on the region came through the eyes of westerners, he began a deep dive into Polynesian mythology which culminated into a trip, along with longtime partner Clements, to Tahiti, Samoa, and Fiji.
It’s clear that Moana will reflect these experiences, lending credibility to Disney’s ability to properly execute Moan’s Polynesian origins. During travel, Musker and Clements rendezvoused with archaeologists and linguists, choreographers and village chiefs. By the time they left, a central theme of “navigation” was beginning to come into focus.
“We learned about dead reckoning, where they sailed by their knowledge of the stars and the currents,” Musker says. “It was very much a source of pride to them that they were the world’s greatest navigators in doing so.”
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This level of immersion for a princess of color hasn’t been done since The Princess and the Frog. It took a little over six years for Disney to take to this level of exploration again. Before Tiana, there were Brave, Mulan, and Pocohantas.
A Disney princess who is as unique in her story as she is in her culture alongside her portrayal of true heritage is still novel for Disney, it seems. In a world with so much racial and culturual diversity, it’s important that Disney maintains its influential hold on young and old alike. Hopefully, Moana will be accurately portrayed, as her story is based on true history and Hawaiian myth.
How do you feel about the movie Moana? Do you believe that the first Polynesian Princess will live up to the hype? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Featured Image By Disney]