Story

Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) is the daughter of the chief of a beautiful Polynesian island. Moana loves the water and wants to explore the ocean, but her father (Temuera Morrison) tells her that she must stay on the island and become a great leader of their people.

But their island begins to die. Moana’s grandmother (Rachel House) reveals the secret of their ancestors, and Moana sets out on a journey to find the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) and save her people.

Special note
A short movie called Inner Workings is being shown with Moana. It’s a silent Disney animation that shows the bodily functions of a man named Paul as he goes about his day. It contains a small amount of toilet humour, references to Paul dying (scenes show his grave), images of a woman with a large bottom, and scenes that show Paul flirting with the woman.

Themes

Death; separation from a parent; natural disasters (the island begins to die); fantasy and mythical themes including gods and monsters

Violence

Moana has some violence. For example:

  • There’s a running joke that involves Maui pushing Moana off a boat.
  • Little coconut pirate monsters attack Maui and Moana with arrows, spears and poison darts.
  • Maui and Moana fight a lava monster. The monster attacks them with fire balls, and Maui attacks the lava monster with his fish hook. Eventually they resolve their conflict peacefully.
  • Tamatoa, a giant hermit crab, tries to catch and eat Maui and Moana.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Moana has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • Because Maui stole the heart of the islands, the islands begin to die. They turn black and start to crumble.
  • The lava monster is likely to scare young children. It’s a large monster made of lava and fire.
  • Maui is a mischievous demigod, who has the power to transform into other creatures with his fish hook. In the opening sequence Maui might scare young children, but we eventually learn that he’s friendly.
  • A Polynesian man is shown getting a painful tattoo. Additionally, most of the men in the movie have tattoos (because it’s part of their culture). Maui gets a tattoo to commemorate every adventure he has.
  • When Moana suggests that she should leave the island, her father gets angry and shouts at her.
  • A flashback scene shows the chief’s friend drowning.
  • There are a few scary scenes when Moana is sailing and almost drowns or is caught is a big thunderstorm.
  • Moana’s grandmother dies. This scene might be emotional for some children. The grandmother is reincarnated as a ray fish and guides Moana in the ocean. Later the grandmother appears as a ghost to help Moana believe in herself.
  • Maui makes a joke about human sacrifice.
  • Maui and Moana go to the realm of monsters and meet Tamatoa, a giant hermit crab. Tamatoa might scare young children.
  • Maui reveals that his human parents didn’t want him so they threw him into the ocean, where the gods found and rescued him.

From 5-8
Children in this age group might also be disturbed or scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.

From 8-13
Some younger children in this age group might be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Moana has some sexual references. For example, a boy winks at Moana.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

There is no product placement of concern in Moana itself. But Moana is a Disney movie, and plenty of Disney merchandise associated with the movie is being marketed to children.

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in Moana.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Moana is an inspiring animated adventure musical about a Polynesian girl learning to follow her dreams and stand up for herself. This movie might inspire children to learn more about Polynesian myths and culture. Additionally, Moana the character is a good role model for girls as she shows leadership skills, strength and independence.

Moana isn’t suitable for children under the age of 8 years. We recommend parental guidance for children aged up to 10 years because of the movie’s violent and scary scenes.

The main messages from this movie are to follow your dreams and be true to yourself.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include bravery, perseverance and teamwork.

This movie could give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of running away. You could also talk about ways of dealing with grief after the death of a loved one, like Moana’s grandmother.