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attempts to follow her destiny – as he repeatedly abandons her in the midst of their quest. This teaches Moana a valuable lesson (via a visit from the spirit of Gramma Tala), which is reflected in the lesson Moana teaches to Maui – that nothing else is needed for a hero to be a hero. Moana ultimately doesn’t need Maui in order to return the heart of Te Fiti and save her people, just as Maui doesn’t need his magical fishhook in order to be heroic.
Now, those sound like great feminist credentials, but Moana did come under fire upon release for its treatment of Polynesian cultures – and rightly so. The story draws from a wide variety of Polynesian mythology and cultural reference, and combines them to depict a community living on a fictitious island. It does the same in creati...
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