#Disney has added one more princess to the royal family: Meet #Moana from the island of Motunui in the South Pacific. Chief Tui's daughter is destined to one day lead the people of her island, yet she feels an inexplicable urge to voyage out on the ocean — where her father has forbidden her to go.
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While taking in this brand new adventure, it's hard not to notice how many parallels exist between Moana and the classic Disney movies that preceded it. A reddit thread and a handful of critics have already popped up to comment on how Moana relates to older Disney classics. The movie contains a cornucopia of similarities that fall somewhere between coincidence and Easter Eggs, and prove that we've come a long, long way since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
1. A Not-So-Perfect Daughter
- What She Reminded You Of: Mulan
Moana isn't the first Disney leading lady to struggle with the weight of her family's expectations. Mulan handled that first in 1998, when she wrestled with being herself or being the person her family wanted her to be, and even went so far to use the exact same expression about never being a "perfect daughter" in her song "Reflection," which happens at a similar point in the movie to Moana's "How Far I'll Go." The parallels between Mulan and Moana just keep going from there, since they both went against their fathers' wishes and wound up saving the world.
2. Maui Fitzherbert
- What He Reminded You Of: Tangled
Mulan isn't the only Disney darling to which Moana pays tribute. Moana herself is also an awful lot like the sheltered, good-hearted and brave Rapunzel that breaks out of her mother's tower in order to go find her destiny. But even more alike than Rapunzel and Moana are the male leads of the movies, Maui and Flynn Rider (previously known as Eugene Fitzherbert). Both cocky and condescending, Maui and Flynn underestimate their naive proteges at every turn, while reluctantly agreeing to teach them how to survive on the road. But in the end, it's the heroine that uncovers her companion's deep underlying insecurities and helps him find his inner confidence. What makes the demigod even better than the common thief? There was no need to make Maui and Moana's relationship a romantic one, so it sent an important message about friendship instead.
3. Tamatoa Is Basically Ursula 2.0
- What He Reminded You Of: The Little Mermaid
If you ignore the fact that one is a hermit crab and one is a squid, these two could be twins. From the purple color palette to the nefarious facial expressions to the obsessive collecting, Tamatoa is throwing out definite Ursula vibes. He's an entertaining villain, but — unlike Ursula — he's easily flipped on his shell and doesn't really threaten to steal the show from Moana herself.
4. Bless My Soul! That 2D Animation Was On A Roll
- What It Reminded You Of: Hercules
The hand-drawn, 2D animation from the prologue harked back to the last time Disney unfolded an ancient legend. Hercules used the same technique in its prologue, and also revisited it in "Zero to Hero" and throughout the film. Yet the style seemed even more fitting in connection to Maui, since his sentient tattoos could easily become part of the dialogue, unlike the Grecian urns and various artifacts that the Muses appeared on. Incorporating the vivid drawings into Maui's toe-tapping song, "You're Welcome," felt fresh and familiar at the same time.
5. Simba! Remember Who You Are
- What The Scene Reminded You Of: The Lion King
How frustrating was it as a child to watch Mufasa appear to Simba as a vision in the night sky, only to disappear just as quickly? Dearly departed Gramma Tala echoes that scene from The Lion King as she soars in as a manta ray in a rolling, starry cloud, in order to help Moana sort herself out. But Tala does one better than Mufasa, since she actually sticks around long enough to give her granddaughter a hug and listen to her sing her way to a breakthrough.
6. It Suits You
- What The Line Reminded You Of: Pocahontas
In addition to the "perfect daughter" lyric, Moana borrowed one other line verbatim from the last Disney movie about a chief's daughter with a passion for canoeing. In the beginning of Pocahontas, Chief Powhatan gives his daughter her mother's necklace (which is also pretty similar to Moana's necklace) and tells her, "It suits you." It's kind of a bittersweet moment, since he's trying to pressure Pocahontas into marrying Kocoum. At the end of Moana, the same three words take on a happier meaning. As Moana returns from her incredible journey, Chief Tui says "It suits you" — meaning he accepts and supports his daughter's path as a way-finder.