MP not impressed by size of Maui in Disney's new 'Moana' movie

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson plays Polynesian demi-god Maui in the Moana movie.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson plays Polynesian demi-god Maui in the Moana movie.

A Labour MP says the size of Maui in Disney's new movie Moana is simply wrong, and could have a negative impact on Polynesian children.

The animation film - which hits cinemas in December - follows Princess Moana Waialiki, the single daughter of a chief who hails from a long line of navigators.

Moana must set out on a epic adventure with her demi-god hero Maui (played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), in search of a mythical land which can save her people.

However the size animators have made Maui has raised some red-flags with Labour and Manukau East MP Jenny Salesa.

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​She points out that there's not many Polynesian movies, "so the one Disney makes will be very powerful for our young Polynesian children."

Salesa is concerned that what they're seeing is simply wrong.

"We know from history if you look back 100 - 200 years from today when Maui, our ancestor, was supposed to have been around, Polynesians were not overweight or obese."

Despite the controversy over Maui size, the film is groundbreaking in one respect: Moana is the first Polynesian royal in the Disney princess family.

A trailer, released earlier this month, shed a little light the film's storyline.

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First, the princess is seen parting the ocean, indicating she has a special connection to nature.

Demi-god Maui also has special abilities: his magical fish hook enables him to transform into an eagle, battle monsters and pull islands out of the sea.

The film is directed by Disney stalwarts Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, The Princess and the Frog). Kiwi director and actor Taika Waititi is a writer and the film will feature music from the mastermind behind the musical Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

It opens in New Zealand on December 22.


 - Stuff

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