Why Disney needs a princess like ‘Moana’ to add to their collection of royalty
Disney is soon to be welcoming their newest princess, Moana, as her movie is due to be hitting cinemas on 2nd December in the UK. Brought to you by the creators of ‘Frozen’ and ‘Zootropolis’ ‘Moana’, stars Dwayne Johnson as ‘Maui’ and introducing Auli’i Cravalho as ‘Moana’.
The movie follows the vivacious teen, Moana, as she embarks on a courageous mission to prove herself as a master Wayfinder and attain the unfinished quest of her ancestors. Along the way, she meets former demi-god Maui where the pair team up and travel the ocean on the trip of a lifetime, facing the impossible. The film is directed by filmmaking duo John Musker (‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Aladdin,’ ‘The Princess & the Frog’) and produced by Osnat Shurer (‘Lifted,’ ‘One Man Band’).
It’s important that Disney adds a character such as Moana to the princess clan for many reasons. First being, she’s a different race and while Disney has previously had characters of African-American (Tiana from ‘The Princess & The Frog’), Arabic (Jasmine from ‘Aladdin’) and Native American (Pocahontas), the princess scene is still rather caucasian. Therefore, introducing its first Polynesian princess will help Disney reach more of a diversity in characters and proving that being worthy of princess status and the image of beauty comes in all forms, not just the typical fair skin and light hair.
Another valid point to bring up is feminism. Rather than being dependent on a search for love and romance, Moana’s story tells the tale of a girl on a mission to find a hidden island and aims to save her people. Rather than waiting for some Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet, she takes matters into her own hands, which is a very important message to teach young girls of today. You do not need to depend on a male for anything – you don’t need the hand of a man to help you fight your own battles or get to where you want to be in life. Your time on this Earth is not to depend on a romantic relationship or serving a male. Females can be and are empowering and should be seen as an equal to men. Rather than looking to the likes of Cinderella or Snow White, whose stories revolve around their royal love interest, Moana leans more to the likes of Mulan in the sense that she is a hero and can be seen as a hero, much like a superhero such as Superman or Thor. There are many male idols for young boys to look up to and feel empowered, but not so many females, which is why I believe Moana could really be a game changer for children’s role models. Being a princess doesn’t mean you need to be saved. You can very much be a princess or queen and be your own hero, rather than depending on a stereotypical dominant male character who swoops in to save the day.
It’s going to be an exciting time when the movie hits theaters to see how Moana’s story plays out and what lessons she brings to the table to teach the young audience she will be facing.
Featured image source: Disney