Disney’s Moana was one of the studio’s biggest hits of 2016. The film’s titular character made history as the its first-ever Polynesian princess. Everything about Moana struck a chord with young girls and boys. From the memorable characters, the catchy song and dance numbers to the heartwarming moments, Moana has truly taken long-time Disney fans back to its golden age.
To celebrate the film’s release on Digital HD and Blu-Ray, here are a few interesting facts about Moana that you might not know about.
7 Enchanting Facts About Moana We Bet You Didn’t Know Yet
1. Moana was designed to have a realistic body type
The creative team behind Moana, namely Ron Clements and Jon Musker, made a conscious decision to give the main character a more “realistic” body type compared to the Disney princesses you’ve seen before. They studied photos of real Polynesian women with the hopes to create a character that resembled their physical features.
2. Maui was almost bald!
It may be hard to imagine the demigod Maui without his flowy black hair, but the creators originally envisioned him with a bald head, presumably because his voice actor, Dwayne Johnson, was bald as well! Luckily, the team’s Tahitian consultants intervened with the decision as the Pacific legends commonly depicted the demigod with hair.
3. The film had a team of astronomers who envisioned what the stars looked like 2,000 years ago
Talk about dedication! You might want to watch the film again to check out the amazing night time scenes unfold in the movie. That way, you can develop an even deeper appreciation for what the film crew went through in order to be more historically accurate. This is just one of he most interesting facts about Moana that will make you want to watch the film over and over again.
4. Lin-Manuel Miranda was offered the job the same week he became a father
Lin-Manuel Miranda saw The Little Mermaid when he was only 9 years old and the film sparked a love for music and performing. Years later, he would get the chance to with work the movie’s directors, John Musker and Ron Clements, on the same week he became a father to his son named after the musical crustacean Sebastian!
5. Lin-Manuel Miranda won a Polynesian dance contest during production research
While researching for the film in New Zealand, Lin-Manuel Miranda attended the Pasifika Festival, one of the largest Polynesian festivals in the world. He attended the event together with fellow composers Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina, but it was Lin who got pulled on stage for a dance-off with other audience members and won. Is there anything Lin cannot do?
6. Lalotai was taken from two Polynesian words
Tamatoa, the shiny crustacean, lives in the realm of monsters called Lalotai in the film. The name is derived from two Proto-Polynesian words, lalo, which means “below,” and tai, which means “the sea.”
7. A group of Pacific Islanders helped Moana find her way
Here’s another noteworthy trivia to wrap up this list of amazing facts about Moana. From 2011 to 2014, directors Ron Clements and John Musker took multiple trips to the South Pacific to gain inspiration for Moana. It was through these years that they began to form the Oceanic Story Trust, an organization that consists of anthropologists, linguists, master tattooists, choreographers, haka practitioners, navigators, and cultural advisors. The group was in charge of overseeing the film’s production, especially making sure that they were authentic in representing Pacific Island culture.