The newest Disney movie, Moana, was released in the Unites States on November 14, 2016 and earned $81.1 million since it was released. Moana is the only daughter of a chief in a legacy of voyagers. When famine falls on the island of Motunui, Moana follows her call to the ocean to seek out the demigod, Maui, so that he can restore the crops to her beloved island by returning the stolen heart of Te Fiti, the Goddess of Life.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, famous for his playwright and composing, wrote songs for Moana such as “How Far I’ll Go” and was performed by Alessia Cara. But Alessia Cara was not the one who voiced Moana. Moana was voiced by Auli’i Cravalho, a sixteen year old native Hawaiian. Since Auli’i Cravalho and the female protagonist, Moana, are supposed to be around the same age, no love story was portrayed.

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Critics are raving about Disney’s newest production of Moana as its take on a “princess“ figure does not have the classic love interest seen in Disney’s history. One of the reasons why the movie is one of Disney’s greatest productions is that Moana, in fact, was not portrayed as a princess. Producer Osnat Shurer states in an interview with Yahoo, “We don’t think of her as a princess. We just think of her as one of our strongest lead characters.” Moana is no damsel in distress nor did she depend on a man to help her. She was a girl who struggled to discover who she is as an individual and is empowered by the will to save her people and her island. This movie follows Disney’s new pattern of female empowerment seen in movies such as Mulan, The Princess and the Frog, and of course Frozen.

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Picture Credits: Disney, Disney UK, & Just Jared

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