Moana | Teen Ink


April 11, 2018
By Anonymous

The movie Moana has a great story line and morals to walk away from the movie with.  The movie is placed on a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean, 3,000 years ago.  The main character is a 16 year old girl named Moana; plus an important character that enters later in the movie, Maui.  As the movie continues, Moana grows older and her maturity is shown; but there is one thing that remains unchanged, her love for the ocean.  The main character is played by, Auli'i Cravalho (Hawaiian actress), and Maui is voiced by Dwayne Johnson (The Rock).  It is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who also produced Hercules in 1997. 

The movie starts when Moana is young, and its shown how much she loves the ocean.  She is always trying to sneak away from the big crowds and get to the bright blue water. She is almost always caught and has to come back; but that doesn’t stop her.  She tries and tries, and her grandma attempts to help her do what she loves.  Her grandma shows her that they were voyagers and Moana goes and tells her father the news she learned to help her cause.  Maybe if he knows she knew the history of the people of the island; he would let her go out and not think it was as dangerous as he does.  Little does she know, he was on boat and sailed, but he lost his best friend at sea; he is trying to protect her.  Attempting to leave the island once and failing, made her realize she needs practice and get help before she can try to go off by herself.  She got caught in a storm and flipped her boat; she went underwater and got her foot stuck in a reef.  If she wouldn’t have found a stone when she did, she would have died.  Not to mention several times her pig and chicken fell off the boat and she had to go save them.  She practiced and talked to her grandma to get advice on how to sail before she tried again.  The moral taught here is, don’t give up on something your passionate about.  Moana had a passion for the ocean and always tried to go until she was older and her mother finally let her go to sea.  If you have enough passion and desire, you will get there and all your hard work will be paid off.  Always find new evidence and support before you go into something so you have something to fall back on if your plan fails.  For example, if you are proposing an idea to a council, prepare evidence beforehand to prove why you are correct and why your proposal should be passed or accepted.

During the movie, Moana’s grandma died.  As she was lying on her “death bed” she gave Moana the “Heart of Tefiti” necklace.  She already has the “Heart,” which has been missing for a long time, and if it isn’t restored, the island will parish.  The “Heart” was also given to her by her grandmother.  Having this put into her hands is a big responsibility that rests on her shoulders.  After she receives this, she feels the need to find Maui, the only person who can restore the heart.  This sends her back out to sea on a ship; to an unexpected destination.  This illustrates when some people or things are taken from your life for various reasons, new responsibilities fall on you.  Take those responsibilities into your own hands and do the best you can to make the person or thing that isn’t in your life anymore proud.  For example, Moana had to restore the heart which her grandma gave her to do.  Let’s say someone’s mother dies and she owned a business; the children will have to take up that business or sell it.  This is a big responsibility that lies on the children’s shoulders, and can create much stress.  This stress will pay off after you realize you made the person proud and did what they would’ve done or wanted you to do. 
Ever since Moana was young, the ocean attracted her.  She has been told by her grandmother that the ocean “chose her,” and she took it to heart when she left for sea.  Moana had no idea where she was going when she started her journey.  She ended up on an island and was furious at the ocean for making her end up there and destroying her boat.  She pulls her wrecks up on the shoreline and a huge shadow appears and a deep voice echo off the mountain.  A six foot tall man appears with black, shaggy hair, and budging muscles, covered in tattoos.  She realized this is Maui, and prepares herself of what she will say to him.  “I am Moana of Motului.  You will board my boat.  Sail across the sea.  And restore the “Heart of Tefiti.”” Right then  she recognized she needed to take her grandmother's advice and have Maui board her boat, and restore the heart.  She also noticed the ocean brought her here for a reason, and it wasn’t just to destroy her boat; this is where she needed to be.  The lesson learned here is to trust your instincts and the people around you to show you where you should go.  There are times in our lives that we are “lost” and need help from the people around us, but if we shut them out and don’t take their advice, we will remain “lost.”  Moana didn’t trust the ocean but she ended up where she needed to be from it. 

Moana loved the ocean so much that she didn’t give up on being able to go out to on a boat herself.  She had been trying to go out in the ocean since she was little but was always told it was “too dangerous," or she lacks a reason to.  Everyone that lives on the island is told that everything they need is provided by the island.  Moana believed this until the fishing traps came up empty and they tried every side of the island.  Then she got suspicious and wanted to go find more fish, which is only possible by going outside the reef.  By the end of the movie, she had proved to her father that she could go out beyond the reef and she would be safe.  This shows people not to give up on their dreams till they get what they want because if they try hard enough, they will become reality.  If you give up after you fail, you will not succeed; every time you fail, you learn something new and are smarter for next time. There is a quote that resembles this, “You cannot fail if you never give up.”

I think Moana is a great movie for people of any age to watch, if it’s not just for the enjoyment, it is to learn some new things.  It has many good life lessons and it is an enjoyable movie to watch with good music put in.  A new spin can be put on life and looked at differently after this movie is seen and comprehended completely.  The lessons learned in the movie aren’t only if you live on an island and by the same rules as Moana, but they can be used in any environment and used for various reasons.  It could be anything from getting your first house, to applying for a job, and anything in between; there are no limits to where they can be used.  Life lessons can be obtained anywhere; this is simply one place a few can be found, while enjoying a movie.

The author's comments:

I have loved the movie Moana and noticed the life lessons that can be found in it.  I thought i should share the lessons because they are not easily found.  

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