Meet Moana Waialiki, a young sea voyaging enthusiast of Polynesia and the main character of Disney’s upcoming film set for release in 2018.

While we don’t know much about her, we do know that Moana is the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. Her family calls upon her for help, which leads Moana on a mythical journey across the South Pacific.

How will this Hawaii/Polynesian-themed Disney film compare to “Lilo & Stitch?” The 2002 Disney animation features the adventures of a Hawaiian girl and her newly-adopted pet/extra-terrestrial fugitive named Stitch. The audience fell in love with both Lilo and Stitch but especially, little, lovable Lilo. Will Moana be just as lovable or will she bring to the big-screen a different kind of island flare? As a side note, “moana” means ocean in Hawaiian, so perhaps that could be a clue in regards to her personality and attributes.

I also wonder how much of Polynesia will be apparent, and accurate, in “Moana.” Although a fictional flick, “Lilo & Stitch” still remained fairly accurate when it came to interpreting the islands and its culture. Writers based the story’s plot around a town similar to that of Hanapēpē on Kauai. They even asked a choir of Native Hawaiian children to sing the movie’s theme song.

One thing’s for sure, both films uphold an important value to the Hawaiian culture – ohana, or family. Lilo says, “Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.” From the short description of the upcoming film “Moana,” we can expect a similar sentiment throughout.

Photo Courtesy: Disney Wiki Commons


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