Why Moana Is Important

Why Moana Is Important

Disney's new animated film forwards progressive ideas.
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"Moana" is Disney’s upcoming animated film set to be released this Thanksgiving. As the date of the premiere approaches, we’ve been given more and more information on the story, and a lot of that info has important repercussions. Here are just a few examples of why this movie is more important that your average Pixar film.

1. People of Color Played by People of Color

The film focuses on the South Pacific, an area largely neglected by the film and animation industry, and features Polynesia characters. The main character, Moana, is played by Auli'i Cravalho who is a native Hawaiian of Chinese, Portuguese, and Irish descent. The actor starring opposite of her, Dwayne Johnson, plays the demigod Maui. Johnson is of Samoan descent. It’s common in animated films to use white actors to play people of color because voice, not color is the main necessity. However, "Moana" refuses to continue that trend.

The diversity is also not limited just to the main characters, as the majority of the cast also consists of people of color, with only Moana’s pet rooster played by a white actor. They also have people of color writing the music and lyrics, with Lin-Manuel Miranda from "Hamilton" as the most well-known of the writers.

2. Strong Female Lead

While a lot of the marketing for the film has focused on Maui (probably because he’s played by the most well-known of the cast, Dwayne Johnson) what the previews have shown of "Moana" is that she’s a very strong female lead. When she meets Maui, she gets furious at him, refusing to back down even if he’s a demigod. She also orders him around on her boat as one of the trailers shows. Yet she’s not all rough edges. When she first sees Maui, she instinctively hides, protecting her pet rooster, and shows fear when she gets caught in a storm. Rather than fit into a stereotype of “nice and polite” or “rude and standoffish,” Moana offers bits of both, making her a well-rounded character, and thus a strong female.

3. Body Diversity

While I’ll admit, the female characters in this film appear to still be lacking in this area, the male characters’ proportions have shifted. Normally in animated films, the princely or heroic characters get portrayed as muscular, while the villains or comic relief get pictured as obese. There was some controversy when the first image of Maui got released, as he’s proportioned rather largely, and many worried that he would be taken as “fat” or “obese.” However, as the trailers have now shown, his size appears distinctly muscular and healthy. Moana’s father also takes on a similar, large stature. At no point so far has the male characters’ size been marketed as a joke or played off as comic relief. Rather, it gets accepted as a normal body type, as it is for so many in the world. The film could stand to improve by including women into that acceptance, but it’s a step in the right direction.

4. No Romance

It’s been confirmed that Moana won’t have a love-interest in the film. This comes as a refreshing break from most of Disney’s films with female main characters. Almost every Disney princess is known for her romantic relationships, and even the films that avoid a romance with a princess often find ways to incorporate the idea of romance. In "Frozen," while Elsa remains single, her sister pursues love for almost the entire film, and in "Brave," Merida doesn’t end up with a suitor, but her entire story comes as the result of refusing romance. Yet, none of the trailers give an indication that romance will feature prominently in Moana. While it’s completely fine for stories to be about romance, it’s also important that romance is the only theme out there. Children, especially little girls, need to see that they don’t have to be in relationship to do great things or be happy.

While we won’t know truly how great a job "Moana" does with social issues until it comes out, it’s definitely worth the support from its progressive stance alone. Also, come on, we already know it’s going to feature some amazing music.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.heyuguys.com/images/2016/06/Moana-poster-slice.jpg

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50 Quotes from the Best Vines

If you're picturing the vines in your head, you're doing it right
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In 2017 we had to say goodbye to one of the best websites to ever roam the internet: Vine. In case you have been living under a rock since 2013, Vine was -(sad face)- a website and app that took the internet and the app store by storm in Winter 2013. It contained 6-second videos that were mostly comedy- but there were other genres including music, sports, cool tricks and different trends. Vine stars would get together and plan out a vine and film it till they got it right.

It was owned by Twitter and it was shut down because of so many reasons; the viners were leaving and making money from Youtube, there was simply no money in it and Twitter wanted us to suffer.

There's been a ton of threads on Twitter of everyone's favorite vines so I thought I'd jump in and share some of my favorites. So without further ado, here are some quotes of vines that most vine fanatics would know.

1. "AHH...Stahhp. I coulda dropped mah croissant"

2. "Nate how are those chicken strips?" "F%#K YA CHICKEN STRIPS.....F%#K ya chicken strips!"

3. "Road work ahead? Uh Yea, I sure hope it does"

4. "Happy Crimus...." "It's crismun..." "Merry crisis" "Merry chrysler"

5. "...Hi Welcome to Chili's"

6. "HoW dO yOu kNoW wHaT's gOoD fOr mE?" "THAT'S MY OPINIONNN!!!.."

7."Welcome to Bible Study. We're all children of Jesus... Kumbaya my looordd"

8. Hi my name's Trey, I have a basketball game tomorrow. Well I'm a point guard, I got shoe game..."

9. "It's a avocadooo...thanks"

10. "Yo how much money do you have?" "69 cents" "AYE you know what that means?" "I don't have enough money for chicken nuggets"

11. "Hurricane Katrina? More like Hurricane Tortilla."

12. "Hey Tara you want some?" "This b*%th empty. YEET!"

13. "Get to Del Taco. They got a new thing called Freesha-- Free-- Freeshavaca do"

14. "Mothertrucker dude that hurt like a buttcheek on a stick"

15. "Two brooss chillin in a hot tub 5 feet apart cuz they're not gay"

16. "Jared can you read number 23 for the class?" "No I cannot.... What up I'm Jared, I'm 19 and I never f#@%in learned how to read."

17. "Not to be racist or anything but Asian people SSUUGHHH"

18. 18. "I wanna be a cowboy baby... I wanna be a cowboy baby"

19. "Hey, I'm lesbian" "I thought you were American"

20. "I spilled lipstick in your Valentino bag" "you spilled- whaghwhha- lipstick in my Valentino White bag?"

21. "What's better than this? Guys bein dudes"

22. "How'd you get these bumps? ya got eggzma?" "I got what?" "You got eggzma?"

23. "WHAT ARE THOSEEEEE?" "THEY are my crocs!"

24. "Can I get a waffle? Can I please get a waffle?"

25. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAVEN!" "I can't sweem"

26. "Say Coloradoo" "I'M A GIRAFFE!!"

27. "How much did you pay for that taco?" Aight yo you know this boys got his free tacoo"

28. *Birds chirping* "Tweekle Tweekle"

29. "Girl, you're thicker than a bowl of oatmeal"

30. "I brought you Frankincense" "Thank you" "I brought you Myrrh" "Thank you" "Mur-dur" "huh...Judas..no"

31. "Sleep? I don't know about sleep...it's summertime" "You ain't go to bed?" "Oh she caught me"

32. "All I wanna tell you is school's not important... Be whatever you wanna be. If you wanna be a dog...RUFF. You know?"33. "Oh I like ya accent where you from?" "I'm Liberian" "Oh, my bad *whispering* I like your accent..."

34. "Next Please" "Hello" "Sir, this is a mug shot" "A mug shot? I don't even drink coffee"


35. "Hey did you happen to go to class last week?" "I have never missed a class"

36. "Go ahead and introduce yourselves" "My name is Michael with a B and I've been afraid of insects my entire-" "Stop, stop, stop. Where?" "Hmm?" "Where's the B?" "There's a bee?"

37. "There's only one thing worse than a rapist...Boom" "A child" "No"

38. "Later mom. What's up me and my boys are going to see Uncle Kracker...GIVE ME MY HAT BACK JORDAN! DO YOU WANNA SEE UNCLE KRACKER OR NO?


39. "Dad look, it's the good kush." This is the dollar store, how good can it be?"

40. "Zach stop...Zach stop...You're gonna get in trouble. Zach"

41. "CHRIS! Is that a weed? "No this is a crayon-" I'm calling the police" *puts 911 into microwave* "911 what's your emergency"

42. "WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? "

43. *Blowing vape on table* * cameraman blows it away* "ADAM"

44. "Would you like the spider in your hand?" "Yea" "Say please" "Please" *puts spider in hand* *screams*

45. "Oh hi, thanks for checking in I'm still a piece of garrbaagge"

46. *girl blows vape* "...WoW"

47. *running* "...Daddy?" "Do I look like-?"

48. *Pours water onto girl's face" "Hello?"

49. "Wait oh yes wait a minute Mr. Postman" "HaaaAHH"

50. "...And they were roommates" "Mah God they were roommates"


I could literally go on forever because I just reference vines on a daily basis. Rest in peace Vine

Cover Image Credit: Vine

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Do not fear the subtitle, embrace it

Why you shouldn't let a fear of "reading" while watching stop you from amazing shows or films...why you should embrace the subtitle.

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I am a lover of all movies, encompassing drama, comedy, romance, action, adventure, etcetera, etcetera. Whether films have subtitles is of no consequence to me now, but it wasn't always like that. In my younger and more vulnerable years, I heavily feared and avoided the dreaded subtitles, pesky words that meant reading when all I wanted to do was mindlessly absorb whatever moving image was on the screen of choice in front of me. I consciously stayed away from foreign films where I would have to put subtitles on and read actual words instead of just being able to listen and absorb whatever the characters were saying. I would love to say that my eluding of foreign films went away with age and was replaced with an eclectic taste for all films subtitled with languages alien to my American ears. Alas, that would not be the truth.

In actuality, my venture into the world of foreign films was forced upon me by high school level French classes where the teachers thought all of us 15 year-olds would suddenly become half fluent in a language we spoke 40 minutes a day if we watched a movie in said language. Sadly, I did not become fluent in French thanks to those high school classes; they did, however, lay the groundwork for a foundation of appreciation for foreign films. And they erased my fear and avoidance of all movies subtitled, instead, the forced high school French films of my mid-teen years created an appreciation for subtitles.

Instead of avoiding movies where I had to read the dialogue at all costs I, cautiously at first, started watching movies where the language was not of my tongue. I started with French films considering I was taking the language, and have been for five years but somehow still do not know it very well, and was pleasantly surprised with how well I actually liked reading the subtitles. I know it sounds crazy, but I really did like it and I will tell you why. First, it immensely helps when the movie you are watching with subtitles is one that you actually picked out yourself with a plot that intrigues you. I think in high school when kids are forced to watch movies in a foreign language class they think it's the subtitles they hate when in actuality it is just the extremely boring or underwhelming plot of whatever "school appropriate" and approved movie the teacher lazily clicks play on. It is so much easier to lose yourself in the feelings of a film when you are the one who picks it, subtitles or no subtitles, and that's a fact.

Second, people's main problem with subtitles is that they have to "read" when all they want to do is mindlessly melt into the couch while numbly consuming the movie in front of them. Well, that is just not possible with subtitles...but, that's a good thing. For one, you literally can't go on your phone because then you will miss whatever is happening on screen due to the face that you actually have to be engaged to keep up with what is going on. And two, a certain feeling of achievement washes over you after finishing a film with subtitles (as silly as that sounds). For one, you feel that you not only just watched a movie but you were also reading at the same time. Ergo, that feeling of having actually read something replaces the feeling of guilt at having not left your house all day to watch television instead. Therefore, making watching a movie with subtitles a very "intellectual" activity.

Also, many people do not take into account the amount of American or English films that subtly use subtitles in the film. Most famously Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" which switches from French to German to English and back again (I would say Italian but I do not think Brad Pitt's southern accent twanged "Buongiorno" counts). In cases such as those, yes you are watching a movie primarily in English but isn't there something unnameable and special when those scenes in an international tongue come on. Maybe you realize it and maybe you don't but I bet you're hanging on the edge of your seat just a little bit more or paying attention just a little bit harder because the characters on screen are speaking in a way your brain cannot translate so your eyes have to do it for you.

So, the next time you are scrolling through Netflix or Amazon Prime or any form of movie streaming services you prefer do not knock films with subtitles out of the waters right away. Take a minute, maybe two or even three, to see if there are any foreign movies that tickle your fancy whether they be dramas, comedies, romance, or anything else. Engage with movies and characters that may seem far removed from your life because they speak a language different than your own, but really they are just like you. Or maybe they're not, and that's why you love them. But, you will never know if you never try and read while you watch. Do not fear the subtitle, embrace it.

Cover Image Credit:

c1.staticflickr.com

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