Why The Lessons In Disney's 'Moana' Are So Important

Why The Lessons In Disney's 'Moana' Are So Important

My favorite lessons I learned from "Moana." Spoiler alert!

"Moana" is the newest movie to be released by Disney. It follows the journey of the daughter of the village Chief of Montunui, Moana, as she journeys across the great sea to save everything she has ever known. This movie is making waves for a number of reasons, varying from the animation style, the settings, the story, and even Moana herself! If you haven’t seen the movie yet, bookmark this article and go see it right now!

In the movie, Moana’s journey helps her to realize that she can be both a great leader and stay true to herself. This lesson comes in many forms. Moana learns very early in the movie that she must accept her role as leader to her people, and eventually decides to put her dreams aside to ensure her people are safe. Then, out of necessity, she ventures out, and through a series of battles, trials, and heartbreak, she realizes the kind of person she needs, and wants, to be. However, this is not determined solely from the journey she makes. In fact, the greatest lessons within the movie are taught through the people around her.

Moana's father, Chief Tui, stays true to the rules and laws that were put in place out of necessity long before. After fishermen and voyagers from the island stopped returning due to the dark and violent creatures that inhabited the sea, his predecessors went against the previous generations' ideals of voyaging because it was necessary to do so to preserve any semblance of their way of life. They hid the boats in a cavern on the island, closed it off, and started to forget about their heritage and past. This choice worked for generations and generations as was proven by the many rocks that the chiefs had set atop the sacred mountain.

The first song of the movie “Where You Are” is used to help Moana to understand that, although she is drawn to the sea she needs to stay where she is. They firmly believe that there is no need to leave the island or venture far from home. They are safe, well fed, happy, and live very nice and calm lives within the reef that surrounds the island. Everything and everyone has a role to play and Moana’s role is to become chief, regardless of her dreams of exploring the great sea.

We later learn that Moana's father once had the same will and determination as Moana. He was not content to sit on the island when there was so much more to explore. However, out of tragedy he grew scared of what was out there and since there was no necessity or reason to jeopardize anyone's safety again. Her father decided after that to take stock in what was around him; he learned how to appreciate where he was in the world, his island, his village, his role. However, when the reef begins to run out of fish, Moana attempts to convince her father that they should look beyond the reef for more fish only to be chastised. Chief Tui’s fear and desire to keep with their traditions makes him irrational and puts the whole island in jeopardy.

Moana's father and the other inhabitants of the island have a set mindset that has helped them and those before them to survive. Their ideals were developed out of necessity to protect them against what they believed to be dangerous and unforgiving. Then, Moana comes along and is set to inherit the role as chief and with it the ability to lead as she sees fit. A leader who, while a great problem solver, is full of stubbornness, pride, and new ideals. She is able to see the need to change the ways of her people and look to the future, by ensuring there will be them.

Moana wants to make her home a better place by making sure that she is true to herself while also filling her role in their society. She wants to ensure that her island stays safe and that the mistakes of those before do not make the future one of darkness, decay, and death. After an initial act of defiance that almost ends in tragedy, Moana makes the decision to stay on the island and obey her father’s wishes. That is, until she is given advice from her incredibly wise, hilarious, and a little crazy grandmother.

Gramma Tala continually tells Moana that, yes there are things that must be done, and there are roles that must be filled, but she cautions Moana to never lose sight of the "voice inside" because she knows herself, she knows Moana, and most of all, she knows her heritage. Tala doesn't just tell Moana to disobey her father's wishes. Instead, she takes Moana to the place where all of their heritage lies, the closed off cavern that houses the boats of her wayfinding ancestors. With her grandmother’s help, Moana begins to see that things have not always been this way and that there is a chance that things will not stay this way forever. Tala teaches Moana that our immediate relatives and living generations are not the only people we can turn to when figuring out who we are or what we are supposed to do. There are many people who have come before, and even if they are not here anymore they are still a part of us. Teaching us that to move toward the future, we must understand our past.

Last, but certainly not least, is Moana’s mother Sina. After Moana stands on the boat and tells her father that they must go beyond the reef for fish, she does not chastise her or tell her she is wrong. In fact, she explains to Moana that she understands that it is a good idea and Moana meant it to save the village. In contrast, she also tells Moana the story of how her father became so strict and fearful of the sea the tragedy of having his best friend’s death on his hands due to the sea’s unforgiving ways. She wants Moana to know that although she may be correct, she must also learn to understand the reasons why others believe what they believe. Only by understanding and empathizing with those around us can we really work together to find a solution to our problems.

Her final defining moment comes when Gramma Tala is lying on her deathbed. This is where Tala tells Moana that she must go, find Maui, and restore the Heart of Tafiti to save their island home. She listens to the reasoning and is open to understanding what needs to be done, although it is difficult to comprehend. When Moana's mother sees Moana running away, she doesn't try to stop her. In fact, without a single word being spoken she helps Moana pack and to know that although she is leaving, she is not alone. Sina trusts in the decisions of others. She trusts that these decisions are made for the right reasons, although it may be hard for her to completely understand.

We should all take a very important lesson that Moana teaches us. We all have experiences, beliefs, and desires that differ from one another. We must be able to learn and adapt to our experiences in order to protect ourselves and others like Chief Tui. We must learn to be happy in the role we have, without losing who we truly are like Moana. We must be able to turn to those who came before us for guidance and learn from them to help us find our way through life and determine who we are like Gramma Tala. And finally, we must listen, trust, and be open minded to the thoughts, ideas, and viewpoints of those around us like Sina. Using these few lessons, we can see how far we'll go. And we can get there together.

Cover Image Credit: Disney Animation

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How video conferencing is helping in making education easier

Video conferencing is becoming a big part of the world and is opening the lines of communication everywhere.

The lines of communication are currently being opened and those that are communicating are not in the same rooms or even the same cities. With the help of technology, there have been many improvements through the world of communication. There are many benefits that come with video conferencing in the education world. With this being said, students are able to get the education that they need to get more out of life and not have to live near a large city where a school may be available.

Video conferencing is changing the way that people learn, work and do many everyday things. It is continuing to help many more get the education they need without having to spend hours in a classroom setting. 

No Student is Left Out

Even those that live in far away places that might not have the ability to go to the class can benefit through the use of video conferencing. It helps by connecting these rural students via video conferencing. This leaves no one left out and provides everyone with an equal education. It provides the students with a chance to not miss out on anything when they’re unable to make the class. 

When before these students would not be able to visit the classroom, which meant that they would not get the education that they need to move out of the area that they live. With more access to these classrooms for all levels of education, more and more people are easily able to gain the education that they need to move forward in life without having to travel very far. 

Travel More

Since videos can bring us just about anywhere, the same goes for travel that you want to do around the world. Connecting one classroom to another in another country, allowing the students to interact and learn more about each other and opening the lines of communication through video conferencing is a great way to not only take a virtual field trip but also see more of the world and those cultures out there. It is a great way to learn more about the world around us and providing even more information regarding the place these people are from.

Many people want to see the world, but are unable to do so. With the use of video conferencing, you can meet up with just about anyone in the world that also has a camera and the same program. This way, you can see a bit of their world, while you share yours. This is always a great way to learn more, but also to take in the views around you and see how their world is different from yours.

Save Lessons and Other Notes

Instead of having to write everything down and then pin it up outside the classroom, you can save these lessons and other notes right on the web. You can use video conferencing recording to record the lesson and then put it up on the web for all to see. This is something that provides everyone with an equal chance to touch down on the lessons and other notes that they might have missed in the classroom the first time. This keeps everyone up to date on their learning and activities too, which means that no one is left behind. 

Bring in Experts

You’re easily able to bring in experts that can provide you with more information or teach the students more about a specific subject. A lot of times, this is something that you want to bring in the experts to teach the students about or even to let them meet someone that they have been talking about, such as an author. Instead of having them come to the school and spend time traveling to the area, a video conference can make it possible to have them speak with the students and give them a valuable lesson without having them come out to do so. 

Parent/Teacher Conference

When it comes to connecting parents with teachers, this is an important tool that can help more parents make it to the meetings since they just have to connect through this way and not have to actually show up at the conference to do so. With this being said, parents can keep up with their children and how they’re doing in school and it allows teachers to be more flexible on the times that these conferences can be done, benefiting everyone that has to sit down and talk about the children. 

Opens All Lines of Communications

The biggest benefit of being able to have video conferencing in education is that it opens the lines of communication on many levels. No one has to worry about not being able to speak with someone, read body language, miss a class or anything else because they’re able to virtually be there when they cannot be physically there. There is no need to travel to the destination anymore with the help of these virtual classes that allow you to be there and take the lesson that is being presented to you. By opening the lines of communication, everyone is able to learn easier and more effectively and the teacher will have a better time teaching the classroom.

Video conferencing is a great way to make teaching efficient and effective. It is also a great way to bring more students to the classroom instead of having them sit out the lessons that they’re unable to go to. There are numerous benefits that video conferencing has brought to other areas of the world, but education is one of those areas that it is needed the most, so that everyone can enjoy more out of the education that is given to the students. Video conferencing is a great thing to have and it will continue to get better with time. Eventually, it will be almost as if the person is sitting next to you in the classroom and not just on a screen in front of you. This will be more lifelike and even bring more benefits to everyone. Technology continues to amaze and benefit us all. 

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Walt Disney World Tips from a Pro

Even the experts need tips.
Dixie
Dixie

I've learned a thing or two about Disney from my frequent trips there growing up. Although I would consider myself a "Disney Pro," even the pros need some help from time to time.  Here are 16 tips to take in mind during your next trip to Walt Disney World. 

Value Resorts have just as much to offer as Moderate or Deluxe Resorts.

I always hear that Value Resorts don't have as much to offer as Moderate or Deluxe Resorts, but I believe they have just as much to offer. You get the same perks you would if you stayed at Moderate Resort. Personally, I prefer staying Pop Century- this will always be my number one choice for a hotel when I go to Disney.

Get the Park Hopper Option.

Disney's Park Hopper option is a lifesaver, especially when you plan to spend 4 days at Walt Disney World. You get to experience 2 or more parks each day, which means twice the fun! My tip: try and visit all four parks in one day during your next trip!

Get the Disney Dining Plan, not the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.

My parents made this mistake on two of our vacations. You become too focused on when you have to schedule a dinner and use your credits, instead of enjoying your trip. It will be worth it in the end.

Get Memory Maker.

Get Memory Maker to help make your trip a little easier. I recommend getting it before your trip because it is cheaper. Plus when you get home, you can customize you photos by adding boarders and stickers!

Get tons and tons of pins.

Disney has a variety of pins (they are free!) that you can get to help make your trip more magical. They have a first trip pin, a birthday pin, a celebrating pin, a just engaged pin, a just married pin, and even an anniversary pin. Make sure to grab yourself a few pins to take home!

Wear Matching Shirts.

Matching shirts bring humor to your trip. You can look back and see how silly you look wearing these over the top shirts. I used to be against them, but they are growing on me and are now a tradition in my family.

Buy Mickey Ears or a Mickey Hat.

No trip is complete without Mickey Ears or a Mickey Hat. Buy the pair that speaks to you or go with the classics. If you aren't a fan of ears, grab yourself a hat! You can customize the ears to make your trip more special. My favorite ears are my Star Wars ears (they light up), whereas my favorite hat is my graduation ears I got to remember my special day.

Download the Disney Parks app.

The Disney Parks app is a completely free app, which helps make your trip easier. You can get wait times in real time, as well as book dining, make FastPass+ reservations, and even look at your Memory Maker photos!

Character Dining isn't just for children.

You will not regret having breakfast, lunch, or dinner with the characters (even if you are an adult). Character dining helps make your trip more magical, knowing that you get to see the characters without having to stand in line. I think my personal favorite character dining has to be either Tusker House at Animal Kingdom (breakfast with Mickey and his safari friends) or Cinderella's Royal Table at Magic Kingdom (breakfast with Cinderella and the princesses).

You will have to stand in line at some point.

Unfortunately, you will have to stand in line at some point, whether it be to see a character or get on a ride or waiting for the bus, you will have to stand for long periods of time. My tip: wear comfortable shoes, it makes all the difference.

One word: FastPass+.

Get FastPass+ reservations 30 days in advance (if you have a reservation). FastPass+ is a game changer for Disney. Make sure to get FastPass+ for rides you really want to get on or for rides you know will have a long wait time. I recommend getting FastPass+ for Peter Pan (always over 120 wait time), Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs, Splash Mountains, Test Track, Frozen Ever After, Avatar: Flight of Passage (absolutely amazing!), Expedition Everest, Aerosmith, and Tower of Terror.

Visit the Countries.

EPCOT's countries are one of Disney's best attractions (in my opinion). When I went to Disney with my best friend, I truly discovered the beauty of each country. My tip: take a photo in each country to show how each one is different.

Be sure to check out each resort.

If you have the time, go check out the resorts you would like to stay at. You can check out different resorts by simply hopping onto a bus or hopping on the Monorail to check out the resorts near Magic Kingdom, it's eye-opening to see how each resort is different. My favorite resort to visit is Disney's Grand Floridian, this hotel is so beautiful!

Spend time at your resort.

It's nice to spend a day or an evening taking in your resort. Whether it be spending the day at the pool or walking around to see the different themes, you paid money to stay there. I love staying at Pop Century because each group of rooms is based on a decade. Typically, I stay in the 50's and I love going to the Flower pool.

Ship your merchandise back to your room.

Disney's free delivery option makes spending money easy. You can get everything you buy sent back to your hotel, free of charge, as long as you fill out the form. I use this option because I typically buy glass ornaments or jewelry, it makes my life easier knowing it will be at my hotel instead of having to worry about it.

Splurge and get what you want.

You never know when you will be going back to Walt Disney World, so splurge and get what you want. Typically, I get Alex and Ani bracelets as my splurge item, but during my last trip, I got a pearl from China. It's my favorite piece of jewelry, worth every penny!!

Dixie
Dixie

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