Obese Polynesian god in Disney film ‘Moana’ sparks anger

“Shortly after the release of Disney’s trailer for its upcoming movie Moana, in which Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson provides the voice of the demi-god Maui, mixed reviews have hit social media, calling the character obese and insulting to Polynesian culture.” V. Schilling, ICTMN

Disney's Moana advert.

Disney’s Moana advert.

Excerpt: The Rock’s Husky Polynesian God from Disney’s Moana Gets Mixed Reviews Vincent Schilling ICTMN

“According to The Guardian, one woman on Facebook…(Tongan heritage), called Disney’s rendering of Maui half pig, half hippo.

When we look at photos of Polynesian men & women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable – No thanks to Disney, she wrote.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson provides the voice of the demi-god Maui, and is proud of his Samoan heritage.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson provides the voice of the demi-god Maui, and is proud of his Samoan heritage.

Others on Twitter have come to the defense of Maui and Moana – most notably Dwayne Johnson, who said he is proud and honored to share the movie’s trailer release.

Cecilia Sagote, the editor of SUGA a Samoan women’s magazine, told ICTMN via Twitter: The outrage on the depiction of Maui has been blown out of proportion and the uproar is not representative of Poly opinion. Pretty sure my ancestors were amazing, super-intelligent warriors. That’s why we are all looking fwd to celebrating Moana.Disney's Moana advert

Isoa Kavakimotu, a man from New Zealand who calls himself a pretty big guy, created a YouTube video in support of Maui. Kavakimotu said in his video that he was fine with The Rock’s portrayal, the size of the animated character and calls Maui a powerhouse who is capable of slowing down the sun, rescuing islands and fighting monsters.

Disney’s Moana is slotted for a 2016 Thanksgiving release and also features actress Auli’i Cravalho as Moana. The movie has songs and music by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina.

Here is the official Disney Movie trailer:

For more information visit www.Disney.com/Moana

chris cruz @NerdyCruz: Moana character, Maui, gives a dark skinned fat guy, like me, a perfect cosplay opportunity. Thanks! @TheRock

Michel Mulipola @bloodysamoan: I’m not phased by the way Maui is designed in this film. In Polynesian mythology, Maui is the demi-god who inspired many myths and legends. In this film, he would of done a lot of those amazing feats…

Faitala Limā : Why is everyone mad at the way Disney portrayed Maui? He looks boss and full of character.

Chris Worthington: “…I am concerned that the critics are upset about the body image of the character. As a ‘person of size’ I find this a bit problematic, because I think good and intelligent and beautiful people come in all sizes. …if the problem is that you want a slimmer hero, that might be promoting another type of bigotry, and that is sad to me.”

Category: Social