The movie “Moana” is Disney's newest Princess to grace the silver screen and there has been a lot of excitement drawn to her movie due to it being placed in the islands of Polynesia and having another woman POC. Historically, Disney princesses main goals have gravitated towards having a prince charming and living happily ever after, but Disney has had a good track record as of recent of allowing their princesses to have their own story arc that isn’t solely about having a prince or man to be loved by. Will they continue that trend? The main question here is does the movie pass the two feminist tests? We are here to find that out.
“Moana” is not only the name of our movie but also the name of our character and we find ourselves in the middle of a conflict not too long after the movie has started. Moana loves the ocean but her father wants her to stay focused on taking over the throne once it’s her time to become the first woman chief of her Polynesian tribe. A conflict that fuels the movie all the way to its peak. She finds her island to be slowly dying and has decided to find out why after a touching moment with her grandmother, the main person who has encouraged her love of water and venturing out of the reef. A rule that hasn’t been broken by the tribe up until now.
In her adventure past the reef she meets Maui, a historical demigod to her people who is responsible for her island dying because he stole the heart of a god. Maui has an interesting backstory that is usually more than that meets the eye but it isn’t thrown at you right away. He matches that of a person who is slow to trust and reveal their past, so to stay true to his character it is like he slowly trusts the audience to reveal who he truly is. The two have not quite an instant connection but grow to have chemistry that is hard to match in this movue.
From the stunning visuals that this movie proudly shows to the interesting story it tells, “Moana” is a must see for everyone. Not only does the Mako Mori test not stand a chance towards it with there being a lot more than one female character, this is also a movie that is centered around a woman who never gives up but has a male partner and isn’t just in the movie to support his cause. It is actually her who is determined to get him to support the cause and adventure they both share. One of the historically harder feminist movie tests the “Bechdel test” can barely ride “Moanas” coat tails either because of the many scenes of women empowering Moana to take her adventure, to not be afraid and to never give up. Her conversations with her grandmother were always my favorite part because she always had no hint of negativity for her. She always encouraged her to be great, and do what she was destined to do. When Moana was ready to give up it was her grandmother who was there to turn her around. And with the new feminist test the “Saa test”, Moana smashes that test with the evidence shown above that it is also no match. “Moana” has been a hit in the box office, has smashed even the hardest of feminist movie tests, has an amazing story, and some of the best animation of the year to boot. There is little to no reason to not see this movie and I recommend it to everyone and thing who can either hear, see or both.