Danyette Clack

Written by Danyette Clack

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Vanityfair.com

Moana, also known as Vaiana in some countries, is a beloved animated film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Released in 2016, this adventurous tale follows the journey of a young Polynesian princess named Moana as she sets out to save her people and fulfill her destiny.

In this article, we will dive into the world of Moana and explore 24 fascinating facts about this enchanting film. From the inspiration behind the story to the talented voices behind the characters, there is so much to discover and appreciate about this animated masterpiece. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to embark on an exciting voyage of Moana’s world!

Key Takeaways:

  • Moana, released in 2016, features a brave Polynesian princess on a daring ocean adventure, celebrating Polynesian culture and inspiring young girls to be fearless in pursuing their dreams.
  • The film’s captivating storytelling, stunning animation, and powerful messages about identity, environmental conservation, and bravery have made Moana a beloved Disney favorite, sparking renewed interest in Polynesian culture.
Table of Contents

Moana was released in 2016.

Moana, the animated Disney film, made its debut in theaters in It quickly became a beloved movie for both children and adults alike.

The film was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.

Ron Clements and John Musker, the talented duo behind other Disney classics like “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” were at the helm of Moana.

Moana is the first Disney princess from Polynesia.

Moana, with her strong-willed and adventurous spirit, represents the first Disney princess hailing from Polynesia. Her character brought much-needed diversity to the Disney princess lineup.

The character of Moana was voiced by Auli’i Cravalho.

Auli’i Cravalho, a talented young actress from Hawaii, lent her voice to the character of Moana. Her powerful and captivating performance brought the character to life.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson provided the voice for Maui.

Famous wrestler turned actor, Dwayne Johnson, brought his charisma to the character of Maui, the demigod and Moana’s companion on her journey.

Moana’s journey takes her across the Pacific Ocean.

In the film, Moana embarks on a daring adventure across the vast Pacific Ocean, encountering mystical creatures and overcoming challenges along the way.

The film’s soundtrack was composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Renowned composer and lyricist, Lin-Manuel Miranda, known for his work on the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” contributed his musical talents to Moana’s soundtrack.

Moana’s grandmother plays a significant role in the film.

Moana’s wise and supportive grandmother, voiced by Rachel House, provides guidance and encouragement to Moana throughout her journey.

The ocean is portrayed as a living entity in the film.

In Moana, the ocean is depicted as a sentient being, actively assisting Moana and playing a crucial role in her quest to save her people.

The film showcases Polynesian culture and mythology.

Moana celebrates Polynesian culture and mythology, incorporating elements such as traditional music, dance, and storytelling into its narrative.

Moana’s pet rooster is named Heihei.

Heihei, the comical rooster, adds a lighthearted touch to the film with his silly antics and undeniable charm.

Moana’s main goal is to restore the heart of Te Fiti.

Moana’s ultimate mission is to find the heart of Te Fiti, an important artifact that can restore life and balance to her island and its surrounding waters.

The film received critical acclaim and was a box office success.

Moana was highly praised by both critics and audiences alike, earning over $643 million worldwide and garnering a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Moana was nominated for two Academy Awards.

The film received nominations for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (“How Far I’ll Go”) at the 89th Academy Awards.

The character of Moana was inspired by real-life heroines.

The filmmakers drew inspiration from the stories of real-life Polynesian women who displayed bravery and determination in the face of adversity.

Moana tackles themes of identity and self-discovery.

Through Moana’s journey, the film explores the importance of embracing one’s identity, following one’s passion, and trusting oneself.

The film’s animation beautifully captures the landscapes of Polynesia.

Moana showcases stunning animation that brings to life the lush islands, turquoise waters, and vibrant cultural elements of the Polynesian islands.

Moana’s hair was a technical feat for the animators.

Creating Moana’s hair presented a challenge for the animators due to its length, texture, and movement. The result is a visually captivating and realistic portrayal.

“How Far I’ll Go” became an iconic song from the film.

The empowering and catchy song, “How Far I’ll Go,” sung by Moana, became a fan-favorite and earned acclaim for its meaningful lyrics and powerful vocals.

Moana became a strong role model for young girls.

Moana’s courageous and determined nature, as well as her unwavering belief in herself, inspired young girls around the world to be fearless in pursuing their dreams.

Moana is a tale of a young girl chosen by the ocean.

In this captivating story, Moana is chosen by the ocean to embark on a transformative journey that tests her bravery and leads her to discover her true purpose.

The film emphasizes the significance of environmental conservation.

Moana highlights the importance of protecting and preserving the environment, promoting a message of harmony between humans and nature.

Moana is cherished for its heartfelt storytelling and emotional depth.

The film’s compelling narrative, coupled with its emotional resonance, resonated with audiences of all ages, making it a timeless Disney favorite.

Moana’s success led to a surge in interest in Polynesian culture.

Following the release of Moana, there was a renewed interest in Polynesian culture, with increased tourism to the Polynesian islands and a greater appreciation for its traditions and heritage.

Overall, Moana captivated audiences with its vibrant animation, memorable characters, engaging storyline, and powerful messages. It remains a beloved film that continues to inspire and delight viewers of all ages.


Moana, the popular Disney animated film, has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with its charming story, breathtaking animation, and memorable characters. In this article, we’ve explored 24 fascinating facts about Moana that demonstrate the depth and significance of this beloved film.From its empowering message of self-discovery to its intricate Polynesian cultural references, Moana stands out as a unique addition to the Disney canon. The film’s stunning visuals, powerful music, and engaging storytelling have made it a favorite among both children and adults alike.Whether you’re a fan of Moana or simply curious about the film, we hope these facts have given you a deeper appreciation for the magic and artistry behind this enchanting tale.Remember, the ocean is calling, so grab your oar and journey into the world of Moana!


1. Who is the main character in Moana?

The main character in Moana is, unsurprisingly, Moana herself! She is a brave and determined young woman who sets sail on a daring adventure to save her people.

2. What is the significance of Moana’s necklace?

Moana’s necklace, known as the Heart of Te Fiti, holds immense power and represents the goddess Te Fiti. It plays a vital role in the film’s plot and symbolizes the restoration of balance and life.

3. Is Moana based on a true story?

While Moana draws inspiration from Polynesian mythology and culture, it is not based on a specific true story. However, the filmmakers worked closely with Pacific Islander consultants to ensure cultural authenticity.

4. Who is Maui in Moana?

Maui is a demigod in Polynesian mythology and an important character in the film. He is a charming, shape-shifting trickster who helps Moana on her journey.

5. What is the message of Moana?

Moana carries a powerful message of self-discovery, determination, and the importance of connecting with one’s cultural roots. It encourages viewers to embrace their true selves and follow their passions.

6. Are there any sequels or spin-offs planned for Moana?

As of now, there are no official announcements regarding sequels or spin-offs for Moana. However, Disney has been known to expand popular franchises, so future projects are always a possibility.

7. Is there a hidden Mickeys in Moana?

Yes, like many Disney films, Moana contains hidden Mickeys – subtle images of Mickey Mouse hidden within the scenery or characters in certain scenes. Keep an eye out for them!

8. What awards did Moana win?

Moana was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 89th Academy Awards and won numerous awards including the AFI Award for Animated Film, Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature, and Annie Award for Best Animated Feature.

9. How did Moana’s music contribute to the film’s success?

The music in Moana, composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina, played a crucial role in the film’s success. It received critical acclaim, with the song “How Far I’ll Go” earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

10. Can I visit the real island of Te Fiti?

The island of Te Fiti is a fictional location in the film, but you can visit many real-life Polynesian islands that have similar beauty and cultural significance. These destinations offer a chance to experience the magic of the Pacific firsthand.

If you enjoyed learning about Moana, her adventures, and Polynesian culture, there's even more to explore! Dive deeper into the enchanting world of this Disney classic by uncovering additional facts about the movie itself. Discover intriguing details about Tamatoa, Moana's memorable crab nemesis, and his role in the story. Lastly, experience the beauty and symbolism behind Lantern Floating Hawaii, a tradition that shares similarities with themes portrayed in Moana. Continue your journey through these captivating topics and gain a greater appreciation for the rich tapestry woven throughout this beloved film.

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