Moana was a worthy successor to Disney's Frozen. Catchy tunes were sprinkled throughout the movie and delightful characters were introduced to audiences. Disney sure has been giving us quality princess stories as the years go by and Moana is one of the best of them. By all rights, Moana can proudly hold its own against the many other movies Disney has released, but, like most Disney movies, there are certain aspects of Moana that are just... wrong. I don't know what it is, but Disney has this power to just cloud our common sense with a fog of fantasy. We all get so caught up in the adventure and the music that we fail to see that there are some seriously messed up portions of their story. For example, The Hunchback of Notre Dame has a fantastic musical score, but it took me twelve years to figure out what Frollo's lecherous song regarding Esmeralda was really about. Moana's flaws are nowhere near that sinister, but I think you see where I'm going with this.
As Disney fans, it is almost our obligation to ignore everything wrong with a Disney movie. Disney movies are kids movies (usually), which means you have to swallow misgivings and just enjoy the ride, but that is not what we are going to do here today. Today, we are going to take a closer look at Moana and its shortcomings, and we are going to face them. Read on if you want to stop ignoring Moana's flaws for just a quick moment.
25 Te Fiti's Transformation To Te Ka
We find out at the end of the movie that the big villain, Te Ka, is just the form that Te Fiti took after her Heart was stolen. Moana figures this out when she tried returning the Heart to Te Fiti's island.
Maui, the person who stole Te Fiti's Heart, was surprised at this fact. The only problem is that he was there the day Te Fiti turned into Te Ka. Shouldn't he have seen Te Fiti's transformation right after he stole her Heart? Te Fiti is this massive island-person; it would have been hard to miss.
24 A Feeling Ocean
The ocean chooses Moana to restore the Heart of Te Fiti. Right there, we have a bit of a problem. The ocean appears to Moana to help her (sometimes) as a little nubbin of a wave. It nods at her and high-fives her.
Moana would have us believe that the ocean is sentient. I hate to get too much into this, but would that mean that when someone takes a dip in the ocean, they are swimming in a living, thinking creature? I don't even want to consider what that means when Maui peed in the ocean.
23 When Tattoos Think Too
Tattooed across Maui's entire body are pictures of all of Maui's greatest feats. He even has a tattoo of himself on himself. Egotistical, I know, but this little tattoo of Maui occasionally functions as Maui's conscience and it attempts to stop him from leaving Moana.
Does that mean that this tattoo is sentient as well?
Does it have a mind of its own? Now, I need to know the story behind Maui's tattoos. Did they just magically appear on his body or did he use some magic ink? He is a demigod, after all.
22 The Survival Of Hei Hei
Hei Hei is definitely not the smartest rooster in the coop. He can't eat or crow properly, and he has no sense of self-preservation. When Hei Hei slipped onto Moana's boat, I thought he was done for, and by all rights, he should have been done for. He should have slipped beneath the ocean waves never to be seen again.
A lone rooster and an ocean voyage do not seem like aspects that mix well together. But, since he's the animal sidekick, of course he makes it to the end alive.
21 Stars Lead The Way
Moana knows where to find the place where Maui is marooned because a hook-shaped constellation hovers right over the island he was cast away on. That seems really, really convenient.
Firstly, the island Maui randomly landed on has a constellation right over it. Secondly, the constellation just so happens to be shaped like Maui's magical hook. It's like it was Maui's destiny to get stuck on that island and it was quite literally written in the stars that it would be so.
20 In The Care Of A Toddler
Te Fiti's Heart is an important object in Moana. It needs to be restored in order to bring balance back to the ocean and the world. For the longest time, the ocean held onto the Heart, waiting for the perfect person to entrust it to.
The ocean ended up choosing Moana, but don't you think it made a mistake by trying to give it to Moana when she was a toddler? For all the ocean knew, Moana could have accidentally eaten it.
19 The Ocean Hater
Moana's people kept a bunch of boats in this hidden cave on their island, which were a connection to their past as voyagers. Moana's father, Chief Tui, was displeased with this past and it caused him to dislike the ocean as a result.
However, if he disliked the ocean so much and he knew about the collection of boats in the cave, why didn't he get rid of them? He even mutters this thought when Moana discovers the cave for herself and tells him what she knows about their people's history.
18 Cuckoo Kakamora
In her quest to return the Heart of Te Fiti, Moana comes across a group of coconut-shaped monsters that want to steal the Heart for themselves. These monsters are called the Kakamora, and they're pretty intense little guys.
But, I'm beginning to see that Disney has a problem with bestowing sentience on too many things. In Moana alone, they gifted the ocean and a tattoo with this trait and now we have sentient coconuts. If you think about it, that's what the Kakamora are.
17 Bad Leadership For Starving People
With Te Fiti's Heart stolen, the world was thrown out of balance and Moana's island was not exempt from the sickness spreading over the ocean because of this. Diseased coconuts and an absence of fish put the island on the brink of starvation.
When Moana suggested looking for food off of the island, though, her father threw a darned hissy fit. What kind of chief is Tui if he would just stand idly by while his people go hungry? I wonder what Moana's people did for food while she was gone.
16 No Thank You
Songs have weird rules in Disney movies. We're all kind of supposed to pretend that characters are not really singing and that it works like a musical in that regard. But, what we're supposed to take away is the general meaning of the song.
So, if Maui, let's say, starts singing a boastful song about how fantastic he is, we can kind of assume he's just telling Moana that stuff. What boggles the mind is that Moana fell for that song. Although she arrived on Maui's island angry at him, he sings one song and she's all smiles.
15 Animals Don't Have Pockets
One of Maui's powers (when he has his hook) is the ability to transform into an animal. When he's an animal, his hook has the tendency to either have disappeared completely or to have landed in one of his limbs rather conveniently.
This is something we might easily ignore, but I actually noticed this the first time I saw the movie. Maui's hook is rather large and hard to miss. It was blatantly obvious that the hook had its own ideas about where it would end up.
14 Thanks A Heap, Ocean
Moana's first trip out into the ocean does not go well for her. She gets knocked overboard, has her foot jammed into some coral, and then gets thrown back and forth by the underwater currents.
You would think that the ocean would have tried to help make her first outing on the water as enjoyable as possible. As outlined earlier, the ocean is clearly sentient and helps her out numerous times when she's with Maui, but I guess it wanted her to be emotionally scarred for a bit first.
13 Easily Fooled Tamatoa
Maui mentions fairly early on that many monsters can sense the presence of the Heart of Te Fiti, which is how the Kakamora are able to find Maui and Moana in the middle of the ocean.
It turns out that this perception of the monsters only works half the time. When Moana goes toe-to-toe with Tamatoa, she uses a fake Heart of Te Fiti to trick him; however, if Tamatoa could sense the actual Heart of Te Fiti, shouldn't he have been able to see that the one Moana had in front of him was bogus?
12 A Mighty Pair Of Lungs
In order to have a dramatic upheaval for our heroine, there is a moment in Moana where she throws away the Heart of Te Fiti, which is Moana's temporary moment of self-doubt. By the time she realizes that she has the confidence to return the Heart herself, the little green gem has sunk to the floor of the ocean.
But don't worry, that's not a problem for Moana. She just holds her breath and dives to the floor of the ocean in one go. I guess we'll just ignore the fact that this shouldn't be possible.
11 A Gift From The Gods
Maui got all of his powers from the gods because the gods gave him his hook. I don't know exactly who these gods are, but since they are gods, I assume that the hook must be a very powerful item.
If that's the case, though, should the hook really have cracked when Maui used it to block a blow from Te Ka? Is Te Ka more powerful than the gods who gave Maui his powers? I honestly want to know more about the pantheon they have set up in Moana.
10 A Tremendous Grip
Moana's people on the island are obsessed with coconuts. I can't blame them, since coconuts are one of their main sources of food. But, you should take a second look at how they handle these things.
At one point in the movie, one of the islanders grabs a coconut by both hands and just splits it apart as easily as you would crack an egg. Have you ever tried to split apart a whole coconut? It's not easy! They have tough outer shells that would need a hammer to break.
9 Convenient Foresight
Moana's grandma was a cool character as she was knowledgeable and wise. Basically, she was the typical wise woman from a Disney movie. But, her precognition is certainly astounding.
She told Moana that when she passed, she would come back as a manta ray. And wouldn't you know it, when she took her last breath, she came back as a blue manta ray ghost. How did she know that would happen? Is spiritual reincarnation a form of wish fulfillment? Or maybe Gramma Tala just lucked out.
8 The Perfect Storm
The ocean did not make things easy for Moana when she was on the hunt for Maui. On her first trip out, the ocean basically pummeled her back to shore.
However, after she had truly set out on her journey, a storm came her way and in its conclusion, Moana found herself deposited directly on Maui's island. Either Moana is extremely lucky that she washed up there, or the ocean was trying to help her out by sending a storm her way. All in all, we're pretty sure storms aren't supposed to work that way.
7 Learning The Basics... Again
Was there any reason why Maui couldn't use his hook once he was reunited with it in Tamatoa's lair? I mean, aside from lengthening out the movie's plot?
Maui finds that he can't use his hook like he used to when he reclaims it. Then, he has to spend time learning how to work it again. With the help of Moana, Maui eventually returns to his normal, powerful self. Was he seriously lacking the confidence to use his hook earlier?
6 A Forgiving Soul
Once Te Fiti has her Heart back, she escapes the form of Te Ka and turns back into the lush and verdant island woman she used to be. And when she sees Maui again, the person responsible for stealing her Heart in the first place, she gives him a stern look.
Initially, you think she's going to let him have it, but she ends up smiling at him and fixing his hook. Out of all the people in the world, Te Fiti has the biggest reason to be angry at Maui and no reason to be nice to him.
5 Some Nice Crispy Bacon
Pua got left behind on the island when Moana went on her ocean adventure. It's a smart decision, though, to leave your pet pig behind because a boat is no place for a pig. However, I am surprised that Pua was not eaten when Moana returned to her island.
When Moana left, her people had no real source of food with the fish gone and the coconuts spoiling. Pua, as a healthy, young pig, would have been ripe for the cooking. I know, I know, it is a callous thought, but it is sadly logical.
4 Best Parental Supervision Ever
When Moana was just a baby, she toddled her way to the beach all by her lonesome. This was the beginning of her adventure, but I always wince when I see this part.
It's clear that Moana wasn't old enough to be left unsupervised by the ocean. Sure, the ocean was her friend and made sure she was okay, but what if it hadn't been? Moana could have gotten hurt while she was out there. For parents who hovered around her so much throughout the rest of the opening montage, they sure didn't keep an eye on her back then.
3 Cave Hallucinations
Gramma Tala shows Moana the hidden cave of her ancestors, the boats that they sailed across the ocean with, and while there, Moana gets a vision of what life used to be like for these early voyagers. However, this vision goes unexplained.
Moana does not question the fact that she just had a flashback into her past. If I were her, I would have begun to question my sanity. She had a full-fledged glimpse into someone else's life and she did not freak out at all.
2 How Did She Survive The Fall?
Moana and Maui have to travel to the Realm of Monsters in order to get Maui's hook back, which involves leaping down a giant hole to another dimension.
In order to prove that she can handle herself as well as Maui, Moana dives into that hole alongside him. I'm surprised that she lived through her experience, though. Her body fell what looked like miles, and when she landed, her body bounced. It's most likely that she would have injured something at the very least.
1 Who Needs Maui?
Moana's mission began with a simple mantra: “My name is Moana of Montunui. You will board my boat, sail across the sea, and restore the Heart of Te Fiti.” This is what Moana rehearsed over and over again to say to Maui when she met him.
However, Maui did not end up restoring the Heart of Te Fiti, Moana did. Aside from learning how to sail, did Moana really need Maui for anything? She was even able to dodge Te Ka without Maui.