Film and Plot Synopsis
Moana is an inhabitant of the island of Motunui and the daughter to the chief of her people. When a blight threatens to destroy her village and her island, Moana decides to follow her destiny out to sea to return the “heart” of the ocean to a Polynesian goddess named Te Fiti in the hopes that it will restore a balance to nature around the world. However, to accomplish her goal, she will need to seek the assistance of an arrogant demigod named Maui who is the one responsible for stealing the heart in the first place. Will their combined efforts be enough to battle past a volcano monster named Te Kā to reach Te Fiti?
‘Moana’ Movie Summary
A thousand years later, Te Fiti is still worshipped by the inhabitants of Motunui. Moana (Louise Bush) is the young daughter of the Motunui chief, Tui (Temuera Morrison). Moana is fascinated with the sea, but her father does want her exploring the ocean and instead wants her to learn everything to lead her people when her father passes on. One day, Moana goes to the ocean’s edge, and the ocean chooses her to receive the heart of Te Fiti. However, the actual heart is collected by Tala (Rachel House), Moana’s somewhat odd grandmother
Sixteen years later, Motunui is struck by blight which kills off much of the vegetation on the island and severely decreases their fishing. Moana (Auli’I Cravalho) proposes that the villagers go beyond the island’s reef to find more fish, but Tui rejects her proposal. Unbeknownst to her father, Moana attempts to sail beyond the reef by herself, but the tides overpower her small boat and she driven back to the shore. Later that same day, Tala shows Moana a secret cavern of ships and reveals to the driven Moana that the Motunui were wayfinders prior to Maui stealing the heart. Once the heart was stolen, the oceans became unsafe and the Motunui evolved into a more land-based culture. Tala explains to Moana that Te Kā’s darkness is spreading around the world and is slowly destroying the island. Tala tells Moana that it can only be cured by Moana finding Maui and having him restore the heart to Te Fiti. Tala gives Moana the heart.
Not long after, Tala becomes severely ill. Shortly before she dies, Tala tells Moana that she must sail out to sea to find Maui. Moana retrieves one of the ships from the mysterious cavern and sets off to find Maui, accompanied only by her pet rooster Heihei (Alan Tudyk). A short time later, Moana encounters a typhoon which overwhelms her. She ends up becoming shipwrecked on an island where she finds the legendary Maui. The demigod is arrogant and desperate to get off the island. Although Moana demands that he return the heart, Maui refuses and steals Moana’s boat. With the help of the ocean, Moana catches up to Maui, who lets her stay on the boat.
Are you just trying to get me to talk about myself? Because if you are… I will gladly do so. Tamatoa (Jemaine Clement)
A short time later, Maui and Moana are attacked by the Kakamora, a group of coconut pirates who quest for the heart. Maui wishes to run, but Moana is willing to take on the miniaturized threats when they capture Heihei and the heart. Ultimately, Moana is successful, and she and Maui escape unharmed. Moana realizes that the Maui is no longer the hero that he once was, and she convinces him to redeem himself by returning the heart to Te Fiti. Maui informs Moana that for him to succeed in their quest, he will have to retrieve his magical fishhook. Maui speculates that the giant coconut crab Tamatoa (Jemaine Clement) probably has it and sets a course for Lalotai, the Realm of Monsters.
Once at Lalotai, Maui and Moana travel to the bottom of the ocean and discover the flashy crab does indeed have the hook. While Moana distracts Tamatoa, Maui retrieves his hook. However, Maui discovers that he cannot control his shape-shifting powers. Despite this, Maui and Moana escape the depths of Lalotai. However, Maui is reluctant to continue the quest without his powers. Maui reveals that his first tattoo was earned when his mortal parents abandoned him as a baby. The gods took pity on a young Maui and granted him his powers. Moana convinces Maui to continue, and he teaches her the art of wayfinding along the way. As time passes, Maui continues to get better control of his powers while he and Moana become close.
Eventually, the pair arrive at Te Fiti’s island. Once there, they are attacked by Te Kā. The battle with the volcanic monster does not go well, but Moana refuses to retreat. During the battle, Maui’s hook is badly damaged, which further affects Maui’s powers. The demigod leaves, fearful that he will lose his hook for a second time. Alone, Moana becomes despondent and asks the ocean to find someone else to restore the heart. The ocean appears and takes the heart. However, Tala’s spirit also appears and encourages her granddaughter not to give up.
Remembering her true calling, Moana retrieves the heart from the ocean and sails back to confront Te Kā. Maui also returns to fight the volcano monster, having remembered that he is a hero. Maui’s direct assault on Te Kā allows Moana to make it to the island to find Te Fiti. However, once there, Moana cannot find any evidence of the goddess. At the same time, Maui’s hook is destroyed by Te Kā. Moana suddenly has a revelation that Te Kā is actually Te Fiti. Realizing that the theft of the heart has corrupted the goddess, Moana slowly approaches the volcano monster and returns the heart to Te Fiti.
With the heart returned, Te Kā is suddenly replaced by Te Fiti which heals the oceans and islands of the blight. Te Fiti silently expresses her appreciation to Moana, and Maui apologizes to the goddess for stealing her heart. In response, Te Fiti fixes Maui’s hook which restores the demigod to his full power. Te Fiti also repairs Moana’s boat before falling into a deep sleep and resuming her place as an island.
In the aftermath, Moana says goodbye to Maui and Te Fiti before sailing home to her island and a reunion with her parents. In the following years, Moana accepts her role as chief and becomes a wayfinder, leading her people back out to explore the ocean with Maui at her side.