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Moana is one of the latest most-loved Disney cartoons of 2016 with the voice of Auli’i Cravalho as Moana alongside Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson as Maui. The story is about the strong-willed daughter of a Polynesian chief who is chosen by the ocean to reunite a mystical relic with a goddess. An unfortunate blight attacks her island and Moana is forced to set sail in search of a legendary demigod named Maui. She must return to heart of Te Fiti and save her people. The name “Moana” also means “ocean” and is not a gendered name.

One of the reasons Moana has been a huge success, grossing over $643 million worldwide, is due to the film’s spectacular animation, music and voice cast. It is also Disney’s first feature-length film to centre on a Polynesian princess and has revived an interest in Polynesian culture. Moana directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, and a team of Disney Animation artists travelled to the southern region of Oceania to conduct extensive research for the film. They saw so many roosters and pigs on the trip that they decided to include them in the movie, hence the characters of Pua and Heihei.

What is great about the film is that Moana is a fantastic role model for young girls. The central plot of the film revolves around Moana’s issues of finding herself, rather than her relationship with a guy like other conventional princess movies. She was also deliberately designed to have a realistic body type, setting a more diverse body image for young girls. Moana costumes and merchandise have been a large success for these reasons and every young girl wants to dress up as Moana.

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