According to “InStyle Magazine,” Maui is Dwayne Johnson’s new role in Disney’s “Moana.” He is the voice of the demigod in this animated movie. The film is due in theaters, November 2016. Moana is Disney’s first Polynesian princess, played by the 14-year-old Hawaiian native Auli’i Cravalho. Johnson continues to prove he can handle any role and pull it off with charisma.
“Entertainment Weekly” explains Maui is based on a mythical god from cultures in the South Pacific. He is believed to be, a larger-than-life, demigod with magical body art. Maui’s purpose in the film is to stand by Moana’s side while she sails the ocean on a journey to save her people. At first, Moana is not interested in Maui’s help, however after some time, she focuses her attention on restoring Maui to his previous greatness.
Disney brought in some veteran artists to ensure this project was a success, including Eric Goldberg from “Aladdin” and Mark Mancina from “The Lion King.” Disney movies have followed the same concepts, related to their generic storyline, since the very beginning. It has been argued, Disney’s success is from the personalization of each story and original music that piques the attention of the world.
Each Disney princess has undergone different problems or challenges and continue to teach the need for social responsibilities. Princess Moana will likely be compared to Merida, from Disney’s “Brave,” because both had to physically fight to protect their people. With Maui by her side, it is likely Moana will overcome her challenges to success.
“Time” reported that Maui is Johnson’s new role in Disney’s “Moana,” because he has an international appeal and has been a household name in the United States for nearly 20 years. It has been mentioned, once people view the released teaser, depicting Johnson as Maui for the first time, it becomes clear why he was chosen for the part. It has been explained, Maui looks similar to Johnson, including his body being built to “physical epic proportions, and magical body art.” Maui and Moana search for a long lost island to achieve her goal and save her people.
Johnson started out as a talented football player who, like so many others, was injured and had to look for a new career path. “Rolling Stone” stated Johnson took on the persona of “The Rock” and became a professional wrestler with WWE. Unlike other professional wrestlers, The Rock was able to take his popularity and shift his career focus away from wrestling toward acting. What made his transition unique was that Johnson walked away from wrestling at, what could have been considered, the height of his career. Johnson has proved himself time and time again as one of the best action heroes with natural comedic skills and a type of charisma, which makes him loved by many.
Johnson was chosen to play the role of Maui in Disney’s “Moana” because he looks similar to his animated character and his stardom will hopefully drive the success of the movie. At the same time, it is hoped that because Maui is based on a mythical demigod, people will be attracted to this character, including people from many different South Pacific nations. Maui is the first demigod Disney character since “Hercules,” and no one seems to fit the bill of a demigod like Johnson. “Moana” is expected to be in theaters Thanksgiving 2016. From what was seen in the teaser trailer, “Moana” has something for the entire family and would be a nice film to go see after a large holiday meal.
By Kristina Lasher
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Entertainment Weekly: Moana: Dwayne Johnson’s Maui — and his tattoo — comes to life in first teaser
InStyler: Watch Disney’s First Polynesian Princess in the New MoanaTrailer
Time: The Rock Is a Polynesian God With a Magical Fishhook in New Moana Trailer
Rolling Stone: How ‘The Rock’ Turned Back into Dwayne Johnson
Image Courtesy of Joe Penniston’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License