'I Am Moana': The Song That Separates Moana From All Other Disney Princesses

'I Am Moana': The Song That Separates Moana From All Other Disney Princesses

There are a couple reasons Moana is different, but none more important than what this song symbolizes for Disney's future.
460
views

My priorities when I went home for Thanksgiving this year were a little skewed, as the release of Disney's newest princess movie, "Moana," was on the same day as I was getting home and therefore became the most important aspect of the break after seeing my dog. My sister and I have loved the Disney princesses since we were little, but this particular movie features the first princess that shared some of our looks, from our big hair to our big eyebrows, from my big lips to her big eyes, so the need to see her in action had trumped any need to prepare to see family for the holiday come the next morning.

The movie is amazing, as most reviews will tell you. The animation is beautiful and fills the length of the movie with extremely vivid color and realistic movement, especially in the hair and water. The music is full of energy and will definitely appeal to anyone who likes the music of "Hamilton" or "In The Heights" with Lin-Manuel Miranda composing, and it features languages from several of the Pacific Islands. The plot is fast-paced and exciting, constructed in a similar way to stories like "The Odyssey," with multiple villains appearing as obstacles rather than there being one main antagonist. A good portion of the movie may seem predictable, though, since it follows the tried and true pattern that Disney has been trying to perfect with every princess movie: a young woman dreams of being able to do more than life has offered her and, through a journey that tests her determination, compassion, and belief in herself, is able to achieve that dream. It's been seen time and time again, slowly evolving from Cinderella's dream of life outside of her stepmother's house to Ariel's wish for a life out of the water to Belle wanting adventure in the great wide somewhere.

However, there is something about Moana's story that feels undeniably different. She is the first Disney princess for whom romance is not even brought up and she is the first princess whose movie goes into the fact that there are actual duties that come with being a future ruler of the people, while movies that do touch on it, like "Frozen" and "Brave," deal more with the idea of being in the public eye. Perhaps most importantly, though, she is the first Disney princess who, through her own actions and choices, saves the world.

It was only recently that the Disney princesses were made to achieve their dreams through their own choices, without magic and without stumbling into a circumstance that offered them the opportunity. Cinderella had the fairy godmother and Ariel had Ursula to grant them their wishes, while Belle, Jasmine, and Pocahontas are forced into the Beast, Aladdin, and John Smith's worlds. It is only from Mulan moving forward that Disney princesses begin to set their sights on a goal and actually work to achieve it on their own. That idea is basically at the core of Tiana's character in "Princess and the Frog," believing that to find fairytales in the real world, "you've got to make them happen, it all depends on you," and since then every princess has had to work hard for her happily ever after.

And there's no denying Moana works for her goals. However, she spends the majority of the movie believing her story is determined by fate and that she is meant to share this journey with Maui, who will complete the mission himself. She is the "chosen one" of this story and, according to legend, is meant to sail the ocean as her ancestors did, find Maui, and journey with him so that he can restore the heart of Te Fiti. Throughout the movie, she repeats that the ocean has called her since she was little, specifically so she could start this journey and set destiny into motion so that she could act as a support to Maui's journey, in the same way many of the older Disney princess have acted as supports to the male heroes in defeating the antagonist.

The moment where this perception of her journey shifts, though, is the moment that defines her and separates her from every other Disney princess. The song, "I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)," appears just before the plot's climax, just as Moana realizes that she must either continue her journey alone or turn back. In a moment reminiscent of Mufasa's spirit telling Simba, "Remember who you are," Tala asks Moana, "Do you know who you are?" Moana wonders for a moment before repeating that the ocean and her ancestors have called her, before realizing that that may not be true. She realizes that she is the one who delivered them to Te Fiti, not the ocean or Maui, and that she has journeyed farther than any of her ancestors. The fact that she still feels that pull toward restoring the heart proves that she has been the driving force behind her journey. The movie emphasizes this especially in the fact that the ocean does not help her get the heart back after she's given it up, she does it herself. The ocean may have chosen her, but it was never calling her. Instead, her love for her island and determination to achieve her dream of exploring the world outside it have led her to deciding to take up the role of the hero in the legends by herself. She realizes that she is completely capable on her own and, though she is not completely alone in the moment she finally faces Te Ka, is able to save every land the ocean connects on her own through her intelligence and new-found confidence in the power of her choices and decisions.

Not only does Moana save the world in a way that is only possibly comparable to Mulan saving China, but Moana's story basically portrays the path Disney princess movies have taken over time, moving from princesses acting as supports in their journey to achieve dreams of another world to achieving them with the support of others, and, finally, to finding strength on their own. Hopefully, this model will continue with each upcoming Disney princess, because "Moana" is basically a culmination of the story Disney has been trying to tell with its princesses for years: a young woman dreams of being able to do more than life has offered her and, through a journey that tests her determination, compassion, and belief in herself, is able to achieve that dream on her own because of who she is and who she has become.

Cover Image Credit: Disney

Popular Right Now

37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

139983
views

We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Yam Haus Plays A Sold-Out 7th Street Entry

When you attend a Yam Haus show you don't just get a night full of crazy dancing and incredible music, but you are given a whole new family.

555
views

As I looked around the sold-out 7th Street Entry before the show, I already knew that it was going to be a great night. The room was packed full of smiles, hugs, and laughter from the start as fans continued to pile in. Noticing these things, along with the wonderful comments from those in attendance, made it clear right away that Yam Haus isn't just a band. They are four cool dudes who do what they love and create a positive and welcoming environment while doing so, bringing people from all over together.

The night started off with the 3-piece indie rock band, Author from Minneapolis, MN. From the moment they took the stage the crowd was drawn into their unique sound. They did a wonderful job at keeping the crowd entertained and pumping them up for the headliner to follow.

After Author finished their set, Yam Haus took the stage with an immense amount of energy while "Who Let The Dogs Out" by Baha Men played over the speakers. It was definitely one of the best stage entrances I've seen in a while! The band then dove into their title track, "Stargazer" which got the crowd up on their feet dancing and singing along which continued throughout the entire show.

"You Need Love" and "Bad News" were played just a few songs later. Both tracks have catchy lyrics and created such a nice vibe in the room when played live. After "Bad News," lead singer and guitarist, Lawrence (Lars) Pruitt introduced the rest of the band which includes Seth Blum on electric guitar, Jake Felstow on drums, and Zach Beinlich on bass.

A special moment of the night was when "Get Somewhere" was played. As soon as the song began, the crowd went wild and hands shot up into the air and swayed throughout the entire song.

Pruitt introduced "Too Many People" next by saying, "Welcome to the family. We love you all so much. This next song is about loving somebody besides yourself" which it reflects perfectly. The lyrics are strong and catchy, but most importantly are positive and empowering. As the song played, smiles formed around the room and many in the crowd danced along with each other and exchanged a few more hugs. Seriously though, how can you not love a song that preaches about loving one another?

"Groovin' (That Feel Good Song)" was the final song the band had on their setlist for the evening. It was definitely the ideal song to close with as it got the crowd dancing like crazy. The band even had a little-choreographed dance that they showed off in the middle of the tune! As the song began to come to a close, confetti blasted into the air and the band jumped down into the crowd. They then danced with their fans for one last special moment before heading off stage.

However, the crowd wanted more as they screamed for an encore. "One more song! One more song!" screamed those in attendance at the sold-out 7th Street Entry.

"We really don't do forced encores, but do you really want an encore?!" said, Pruitt as the band ran back on stage.

Yam Haus then played a cover of Justin Timberlake's, "CAN'T STOP THE FEELING" from the animated movie, "Trolls." It was such a fun tune to jam along to and was a fun way to close up an amazing night in Minneapolis.

When you attend a Yam Haus show you don't just get a night full of crazy dancing and incredible music, but you are given a whole new family. However, it's not just any family. It's such a supportive and positive one that you will find yourself wishing you could see everyone (the band, their team, the other fans, etc.) all over again and again. The "Yam Fam" is truly something special.

(I'm not sure if the term, "Yam Fam" is a thing yet, but it definitely should be because it is so much fun to say!)

As I walked out after the show, I glanced up at the stars painted on the walls of the First Avenue & 7th Street building. The stars represent/honor favorite music artists from the past and present. However, there are a few blank stars on the building waiting to find somebody worthy of having their name added to it and I wouldn't be surprised if someday "Yam Haus" is painted onto one of them. Just think, how cool would that be? Pretty dang cool, I know!

So, if you have yet to see Yam Haus play live, or even hear one of their songs, please do so as you won't regret it. In fact, I'd go as far to say that I guarantee you won't. Yam Haus is something special and it's crazy to think that this is just the start for this 4-piece midwest band.

Check out Yam Haus' tour schedule here and listen to their debut album, "Stargazer" on Spotify or Apple Music.

Also, the band has been creating daily vlogs on their YouTube Channel for over a year and they are super entertaining and funny! I went to watch only one and ended up watching about 30 in a row (and definitely laughed at them more than I should). They give you an "inside" look into the life of Yam Haus and you should go check them out.

-Yam Haus Socials-

Twitter: @YAMHAUSBand

Instagram: @YamHaus

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yamhaus/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/yamhaus/

Website: https://www.yamhaus.com/

Corbyn Jenkins // IG: @CorbynJenkins

Cover Image Credit:

Corbyn Jenkins // IG: @CorbynJenkins

Related Content

Facebook Comments