Yesterday, I went and saw Moana, and boy oh boy did I fall in love. I’m going to do a proper review on YouTube, but I just wanted to come here and talk about all the fangirling that came from me, a girl in New Zealand.
I’m not Maori, but I am from the same country as the Maori, and I grew up hearing their myths and legends. It’s completely ingrained in my culture, and then there goes a Disney princess (sorry – daughter of a chief), and she has that same culture!! Also, my family is from the Cook Islands, and although it’s my great grandmother that grew up there, my great-aunts are overly proud of their heritage, so I feel like I’m part of it. I’ve visited Rarotonga, where she’s from, and had traditional food, plus a very cultural 90th birthday for my great grandma, so I know how important it is to my family.
“You’re Welcome” has got to be my favourite part of the movie, because Maui made so many mentions to the stories about him I already knew. Capturing the sun is a classic, and those island he mentioned he pulled up? Yeah, I LIVE on one of those islands! I live right by Te Whiti park, so although I didn’t know her story, I’ve of course heard the name. A lot of it was just really brief, maybe a line or two in the song, but it still made me go WOAH. Also, it’s catchy, points for that.
I love love love his tattoos, because that’s a big part of the culture too. I mean, I’m pretty sure they don’t just appear them, but moko, the face tattoo, is something that all highly respected Maori have. All the different sorts of tattoos have different meanings, and I don’t know a huge amount about it all, but the patterns looked pretty good to me! All very Maori and such.
Actually, most of what I recognised was small stuff, since I don’t know the main myth. Like the heart being made out of ponamu, or greenstone – every New Zealand kid has had a greenstone necklace at some point in their life, even if it was just a rip off version. And was the necklace paua? I’m not sure, but it looked like it! Plus, Maui’s haka in the final battle gave me chills. That’s a warrior challenge, to show your bravery, and it’s something our rugby team do before every game. It’s such an important New Zealand thing, you know, one of those things white people do at airports to greet famous people, and everyone else cringes, but then you go overseas and get caught up and do it too? Is that weirdly specific? That’s what it is for us, anyway.
Basically, I’m in love with Moana, because it’s full of my country’s culture. Us, little old New Zealand! Did you love it too? Do you do the same sort of fangirling?