In the past week, I have had three projects to work on, adding onto the amount of studying and other homework I had, which equals a very stressful week. So, on Thursday night, my friend Abby and I went to see the newest Disney princess in action.
I honestly was not expecting a lot from this movie. There have been so many Disney princess movies I have resigned myself to mindlessly enjoy it. By this I mean that I can watch it without searching for any other meaning or not really thinking of anything. But "Moana" wasn't like that.
I was honestly surprised when I sat in Kirksville's little eight-screen theater. The movie, to the best of my knowledge, was very entertaining and didn't follow previous formulas of princess movies. Disney has been on a streak of producing independent princesses and this movie is no different. Moana, a young girl, goes on a mission to save her tribe's lands by returning Te Fiti's heart to the sacred island. She convinces the demigod Maui to join her, but honestly, doesn't really need him. In the end, it was her and only her who saved the island and her people.
I didn't expect that. Like at all. I thought the movie would follow the pattern of relying on a man to complete these journeys or missions or whatever you want to call them. While Moana did seek Maui, she ended up not needing him, but she learned from him, something the other movies have seemingly forgotten. While women don't need a man to accomplish anything, we do learn from them, whether it's their successes or their failure that we learn from. I think that is one of the most important lessons a young girl could take away from this movie. While we can be independent and not rely on anyone but ourselves, we don't have to. When Maui came back to assist Moana in defeating the volcano god guarding Te Fiti, he did it because he cared. Moana realized she could rely on him then and with his minimal help, she replaced the heart of Te Fiti and restored the island.
I really hope Disney creates more movies where little girls can see examples of the women they can be with positive role models such as Moana. With her selflessness, determination, and loyalty to her tribe, Moana has quickly become a growing idol to young girls everywhere, and even an idol to this twenty year-old.