Lionhearted Spirit

By: Brett Andrew Rikke P. Bungcayao

Disney’s Moana teaches us that the greatest discovery is discovering your true self, and that the best person you can be is yourself.


     Disney remains to be the undisputed home of notable animation films that speaks naturally to the hearts of the viewers and unfailingly inspires them at the same time. Disney’s target audience has evolved throughout the years since everyone: kids and kids at heart can watch and enjoy these movies. Disney’s animation films contain a semi-theatrical production equated with LSS-songs and life-changing wisdom that makes you tear up a bit. Disney never forgets to inject the concept of love, family and friendship accompanied with fun-filled and joyous graphics that everyone would appreciate.

     Gone are the days where women are the damsels-in-distress. Disney successfully gave renaissance to strong women rescuing themselves without a prince. Remember Mulan? The Chinese maiden who saved the Emperor of China from Shan-Yu. How about Princess Elsa who accidentally covers her kingdom with ice, all she needed was Anna to thaw the frozen palace. Belle, is a smart woman who reads books in the pursuit of breaking the Beast’s spell. Disney triumphantly breaks stereotypes as the antithesis of the girly-princess had abruptly brought life to women characters emphasizing dauntlessness, intelligence, strength and the determination to make a difference.

     Disney breaks yet another feat with a frontrunner through Moana, a heart-warming tale of a Polynesian teenager’s quest to save her homeland, which brags eye-watering visuals and “eargasmic” songs. Truthfully, it emphasizes that the past must never be forgotten and that the future belongs to those who know where they truly belong.

     In the calm Motunui where coconuts are fresh and oceans are boundless. Moana resides with her mother, grandmother and her father who’s the Chief of Motunui. Moana’s grandmother shares stories about monsters and expeditions of their ancestors. As a child, Moana has come to know the demigod Maui who steals the heart of the Te Fiti (goddess of earth and fire). Her grandmother also shares that there will be one person who will save them all and that person will travel the oceans, get Maui back to return the heart of Te Fiti.

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     Moana was believed to be successor of her father. As she grows up- unexpectedly, coconuts have started to become rotten and the fishes in the sea were starting to become extinct. Moana smartly suggests her opinions, and lingers to the idea that they must go beyond the reef. Her father, Chief Tui angrily insists the rule that no one must leave the boundaries of the reef. Confused and partly struggling, Moana finds herself torn apart from being the chief of their hometown or venturing and sailing beyond the reef. Determined enough, her grandmother leads her to a cave where boats of her ancestors remain kept and unused. Moana discovers that her ancestors were voyagers. Moana as a child once helped a sea turtle return to the ocean and the ocean warmly appears and chooses her, she was the chosen one to save their hometown.

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     With the knowledge and burning desire to explore and somehow save her hometown, she suggests it to everyone. Anger filled her father’s heart and resents the idea. Heartbreaking events were starting to weave since the environment wasn’t the only person dying, but so was Moana’s grandmother. Moana was left with no choice but to drown her father’s instructions to wander the blue yonder, find Maui and restore Te Fiti’s heart.

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     Luckily, Moana finds Maui and successfully retrieves his hook in the realm of monsters. In the course of their adventures, Moana, Maui and Moana’s dim-witted chicken, HeiHei encounter a swarm of diminutive Kakamora pirates. As their friendship blossoms, both are determined to finish their mission alas, they arrive in the island of Te Fiti to face a fiery lava monster.  Unluckily, their first attempt was a failure, with Maui’s hook damaged, he was left with the option of giving up and harshly saying to Moana that the ocean has chosen the wrong person. Maui left and Moana was in the state of confusion, wondering why the ocean chose her in the first place. Surrendering the heart of Te Fiti to the ocean, Moana gives up.

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     Unexpectedly a bright, blue light shines from the ocean in the form of a magnificent stingray and her grandmother’s soul surfaces. Moana’s grandmother reminds her that the universe might be against her plans, and that her journey have left her scars but those scars heal and that it revealed her true self. Moana was asked if she knew who she was. Slowly Moana finds her inner strength and comes to realize who she really is: a girl of loves her island, who loves the sea, a daughter of the island chief, a descendant of ancestral voyagers and a girl of incomparable desire to make a difference. She retrieves the heart of Te Fiti and journeys alone to complete the unfinished mission.

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     Moana wittingly outsmarts the lava monster, Maui comes to help her as she lands to the island of Te Fiti. Astonished, Moana couldn’t find any sign of Te Fiti until she realizes who Te Fiti was. Moana commands the ocean to dissipate so that she can come near the lava monster. Moana whispers to the monster “who you truly are” as she places the heart of Te Fiti into the spiral, and the rough rocks that concealed the monster deliberately crumbles revealing the goddess of creation, Te Fiti.

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     Te Fiti restores the harmony and the beauty of the lands that were filled with darkness. Flowers sprouted, tress grew and the land is alive once again. Te Fiti repairs Maui’s hook and gives Moana a boat which she can ride going home. Moana and Maui bids goodbye as they seal their friendship strongly, a priceless memory they will always remember. As Moana returns home safely, everyone recovers the unused boats trapped inside the cave. With the oceans now safe and the environment regaining its beauty, the whole island sails and tests the waters after a very long time.

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   Iconic as it already is, Moana is worth remembering because it is the story of a courageous female trailblazer who is independent and progressive, who cares about nature and someone who is not afraid to be herself. Indeed, Moana constantly reminds us that we should never forget who we truly are, we must carry ourselves with pride and we should always believe in ourselves.


Main Photo (Top Most):

The rest of the photos were print-screened by the author. (PrtSc+Ctrl P) AND saved as PNG photos.



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