The newest Disney computer generated animated film set to be released this upcoming November is entitled Moana. This movie will be different from many of the other of the studio’s latest releases because of its racial diversity. For the past several films, the heroine has been Caucasian, with the noted exception of Princess Tiana from the 2009 animated feature The Princess and the Frog. Disney will presenting the first Polynesian princess to hit the animated screen, and her name is Moana Waialiki.
Another reason this movie will be different is because the directors behind the scenes, as well as the musicians, will be paying homage to the South Pacific culture. This film is not set in Hawaii, but in the South Pacific islands of Figi, Samoa and Tonga. This culture revers nature and believes it to be almost human like. In fact, one of the films opening sequences has the ocean playing baby Moana. Those who have seen some previews of the film have described it as a beautifully animated effort unlike anything else that has been seen.
What is a Sidekick?
Like every Disney film, the lead character, Moana, will have a trusty sidekick. There are literary purposes of having another character besides the protagonist in any film. First of all, the entire film would be a soliloquy and a bit boring for audiences. The protagonist needs a companion to tell the plot of the story and to help move the action along, sometimes from another point of view.
Second, a sidekick helps flesh out the main character. With their interactions throughout the film, we can see the good, the bad and the in between. Bringing out the best in another person, helping to change the imperfect parts and helping the story’s hero see past themselves are all the job of this secondary character.
A good sidekick can even provide some comic relief during tense situations along the way.
In Moana, this role is assigned to the demigod named Maui. As with many of these relationships, it will have a rocky start and then develop into a close friendship, similar to Anna and Kristoff from Frozen, Mulan and Mushu from Mulan and Mike and Sully from Monsters University.
Who is Maui?
The character of Maui is a real part of Polynesian culture. Moana learned about his deeds from the stories her grandmother told her when she was a child, using legends to explain natural happening occurrences. As the trailer describes, he has a magical fishhook that slowed down the sun, pulled islands out of the sea and battled monsters. His character and his stories crosses over several South Pacific cultures, including Hawaiian, Polynesian, Maoris, Samoan and Tongan. Disney tries its best to blend them together as the story is told.
Dwayne Johnson, who himself is part Polynesian, voices the role of Moana’s sidekick. He brings humor and flare to his character portrayal and is sure to steal many of the scenes that he is in. Just looking at the preview trailer puts a smile on one’s face!
Even before the movie is released, there will be people who will be clamoring to be the first to dress up in a Maui costume. As the holiday approaches and peopel are looking for someone different to dress as, this new Disney character is one that is going to get some interest.
Although nothing official has been released to date, you can create your very own Moana DIY Maui costume from the following articles of clothing.
Disney Moana’s Maui Tattoo Shirt for Men
Tattoos played an important part of Polynesian culture. While the designs varied from island to island, the tattoo master was the person who designed the symbols, whether they be geometric patterns or animals. These designs were considered to be works of art. Those who wore tattoos wanted to attract strength and spiritual power. It also told about a person’s character, and it was commonplace for everyone to have this body art on their person.
In Moana, Maui has tattoos that move!
Although this shirt is not the traditional Polynesian tattoo style, it does create the first part of what you need to make this Maui costume work. It stretches to the contours of your body and comes in sizes Small/Medium and Large/Extra Large.
Muscle Man Shirt
If you cannot find the muscle shirt in your size, then this blow up Muscle Man Shirt is one that you can use and then cover with temporary tattoos.
10 Sheets of Metallic Tattoos from Amazon
Maui can also be seen sporting tattoos around his legs. This set of temporary tattoos comes with 10 sheets so you can put on as many as you want.
Men’s Grass Skirt
Around Maui’s waist there is the traditional skirt of leaves. You can wear this one as it appears or cut it down a bit and make it short like Maui’s. Be sure to wear some beige shorts underneath for modesty if that is a concern for you.
Disney Moana Maui Costume Wig
Long, black and curly is Maui’s hair. If yours does not resemble the flowing locks he possesses, then this wig will help you achieve the look you need to look like the Polynesian demigod.
Shark Tooth Necklace
Another part of Polynesian dress that you see on Maui is his shark tooth necklace. This culture wore these because they believed that wearing it gave them protection. They also used the teeth to prepare food because they were so sharp they could cut!
This is just one of many different styles of men’s necklaces that you can find.
Disney looks like it has another smash hit on its hands with the upcoming film Moana. Maui promises to be one of the new favorite characters emerging from the previews. Now you can dress like him for Halloween!
Featured image from Pixabay and altered by the author in Picmonkey.