Moana - Disney travels in the South Seas

by Toby Manhire / 17 December, 2013
A new animated feature in the works will draw on Pacific culture and myth, complete with "demi-gods and spirits taken from real mythology".
Pocahontas meets South Pacific in a new Disney animated film in the pipeline. It's called Moana. It will go something like this:

The main character will be Moana Waialiki, a sea voyaging enthusiast, and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. The film will also include demi-gods and spirits taken from real mythology


The blog BleedingCool, which first got wind of the movie, planned for release in 2018, in October, is excited:

It’s an epic, or even mythic, adventure set around 2000 years ago and across a series of islands in the South Pacific. The lead character, Moana Waialiki is the only daughter of a Chief in a long line of navigators. She’s really a bit of nerd, but a nerd about sea voyaging ...


I think Moana is shaping up to be really quite tremendous.


Bustle, which confirmed the news this week, is equally enthused, saying this "looks like a good one, folks" - though it has one proviso: "So as long as long as Disney can manage to pay homage to Polynesian culture without mangling it." That is no small risk, mind you. See, for example, this critique of Pocahontas, and this on Aladdin, The Lion King and Pocahontas. At Stuff.co.nz, Pacific expert Michael Field writes:

Polynesians have a long tradition of having their culture romantically defined by others from the noble savage of the 18th century, through several versions of Mutiny on the Bounty and the stereotype defining musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, South Pacific, which was based on James Michener's book of the same name.


These days South Pacific looks decidedly culturally inappropriate - and even now offends Polynesians, especially those mistaken for the character, Bloody Mary.


  Follow the Listener on Twitter or Facebook.
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

The Guns of Navarone writer knew he had to have a Kiwi hero
71551 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z History

The Guns of Navarone writer knew he had to have a …

by Charles Hamlin

When Alistair Stuart MacLean sent his heroes up a sheer cliff, he knew he had to have a New Zealander in charge.

Read more
NZ spied on Japan to help US - NSA document
71615 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z World

NZ spied on Japan to help US - NSA document

by Craig McCulloch

Leaked US documents reveal Kiwi spies gathered information about Japan at a whaling conference, then passed it onto the NSA ahead of a crucial vote.

Read more
Mustard with your mustelid? The future of ethical protein eating
70342 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z Innovation

Mustard with your mustelid? The future of ethical …

by Margo White

If we want to feed the masses without wrecking the planet with more intensive agriculture, we might need to reframe our attitude to insects.

Read more
Thomas Oliver is in a soul frame of mind
71574 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z Music

Thomas Oliver is in a soul frame of mind

by James Belfield

Last year’s Silver Scroll winner has a new album and is all set to go on tour.

Read more
Art of disruption: Fafswag's alternative look at the Pacific body
70635 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z Arts

Art of disruption: Fafswag's alternative look at t…

by Anthony Byrt

A group of young artists are making sure their voices are heard in the discussion of decolonisation and the representation of Pacific bodies.

Read more
My life in clothes: Rebecca Zephyr Thomas on glamour and grunge
70622 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z Style

My life in clothes: Rebecca Zephyr Thomas on glamo…

by Rose Hoare

Photographer Rebecca Zephyr Thomas describes how an anti-fashion phase has stuck with her through her life.

Read more
Phil Goff's half year looms with big fiscal hopes still alive
71557 2017-04-25 00:00:00Z Politics

Phil Goff's half year looms with big fiscal hopes …

by Todd Niall

Auckland's mayor Phil Goff is approaching his six-month mark in office saying he believes his two big budget ideas will eventually come through.

Read more
The forgotten tragedy of Kiwi heroes and the inspiration of The Guns of Navarone
71507 2017-04-25 00:00:00Z History

The forgotten tragedy of Kiwi heroes and the inspi…

by Charles Hamlin

A forgotten tragedy befell our first Special Forces in Churchill’s second bid for the Dardanelles.

Read more