Moana: The Disney Movie Set in Polynesia

“Moana” is a 2016 Disney Movie Set in Polynesia that tells the story of a young Polynesian girl who embarks on a journey to save her island home. The film showcases Polynesian culture and traditions, as well as the importance of family, identity, and the environment.

Background on Polynesia:

Over 1,000 islands make up the subregion of Polynesia in Oceania, which is located in the southern and central Pacific Ocean. The Polynesian people are known for their seafaring skills, navigational techniques, and rich cultural heritage. Polynesian culture is characterized by a strong connection to the land and the ocean and a deep respect for ancestors and spiritual beliefs.

Cultural References and Themes in “Moana”

Cultural ReferencesThemes
Traditional Polynesian navigation techniquesIdentity
Polynesian music and danceNature’s power
Use of tattoos and body artTeamwork
Representation of Polynesian valuesEnvironmental conservation
Celebration of the Polynesian way of LifeImportance of understanding one’s roots


Moana, the main character of the movie, is the daughter of the chief of her island. However, her people face a crisis: the fish have disappeared, and the crops are dying. Moana learns that the cause of this is a curse that was placed on the island by the demigod Maui, who stole the heart of the goddess Te Fiti. Moana decides to take matters into her own hands and sets sail on a dangerous journey to find Maui and restore the heart of Te Fiti.


Moana is a strong-willed and determined young girl who is passionate about her island and her people. She is also curious and adventurous, which leads her to embark on her journey despite the risks. Maui is a charismatic demigod who is initially reluctant to help Moana, but eventually learns the importance of working together and selflessness. Other characters in the movie include Moana’s grandmother, who provides guidance and wisdom, and various animals and spirits who help Moana along the way.

Polynesian Culture in “Moana”

Throughout the movie, there are many references to Polynesian culture and traditions. For example, Moana’s family practices traditional Polynesian navigation techniques, using the stars and the ocean to guide their way. The movie also features Polynesian music and dance, as well as the use of tattoos and body art to represent cultural identity.

Themes Explored

Moana explores several important themes, including the importance of identity, the power of nature, and the value of teamwork. The movie also emphasizes the importance of respecting and preserving the environment, as well as the idea that everyone has a role to play in making the world a better place.

Disney Movie Set in Polynesia: Moana

  • “Moana” is a Disney animated movie set in the context of Polynesian culture and mythology.
  • The film follows Moana, a young Polynesian girl, on her quest to restore the heart of Te Fiti and save her island.
  • Polynesian culture is portrayed authentically in the movie, featuring traditional navigation techniques, music, dance, tattoos, and spiritual beliefs.
  • Major characters include Moana, Maui (a demigod), and Moana’s grandmother, who guide and support Moana on her journey.
  • The film explores themes of identity, nature’s power, teamwork, environmental conservation, and the importance of preserving one’s heritage.
  • “Moana” has been well-received for its accurate representation of Polynesian culture and has contributed to promoting awareness of Polynesian traditions globally.
  • The movie inspires audiences to be courageous, determined, and environmentally conscious, emphasizing the value of community and heritage.


Overall, Moana is a beautiful and inspiring movie that celebrates Polynesian culture and traditions. It is a story about courage, determination, and the importance of family and community. Through Moana’s journey, we are reminded of the power of nature and the importance of respecting and preserving our planet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is “Moana” about?

“Moana” is a Disney movie set in Polynesia, following the journey of a young Polynesian girl named Moana as she embarks on a quest to save her island home. The plot centers on her efforts to restore the heart of the goddess Te Fiti and bring prosperity back to her people.

Q2: How does “Moana” showcase Polynesian culture?

The movie accurately portrays Polynesian culture through various elements such as traditional navigation techniques, music, dance, tattoos, and spiritual beliefs. It celebrates the Polynesian way of life, emphasizing the importance of community, respect for nature, and honoring ancestors.

Q3: What are the major themes in “Moana”?

“Moana” explores themes like identity, the power of nature, teamwork, environmental conservation, and the importance of understanding one’s roots. These themes are deeply rooted in Polynesian culture and traditions.

Q4: Who are the main characters in “Moana”?

The main characters include Moana, the determined young protagonist; Maui, the charismatic demigod; and Moana’s grandmother, who offers guidance and wisdom. Various animals and spirits also play important roles in Moana’s journey.

Q5: How has “Moana” been received in terms of promoting Polynesian culture?

“Moana” has been positively received for its respectful and accurate portrayal of Polynesian culture. It has played a significant role in promoting awareness and appreciation of Polynesian traditions on a global scale.

Q6: Is “Moana” based on actual Polynesian legends or myths?

While “Moana” draws inspiration from Polynesian mythology and culture, it is a fictional narrative created by Disney. The filmmakers collaborated with cultural experts and consultants to ensure an authentic representation of the Polynesian way of life.

Q7: How does “Moana” inspire audiences?

“Moana” is an inspiring film that encourages audiences to be courageous, and determined, and value their heritage. It showcases the importance of taking responsibility for the environment and working together to make a positive difference.

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