Characters / Moana

Characters from the Disney Animated Canon film Moana.

WARNING: ALL SPOILERS ARE UNMARKED!
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Title Character

    Moana Waialiki 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/moana_waialiki_2.png
"The ocean chose me for a reason."
Voiced by: Auli'i Cravalho, Louise Bush (as a toddler); Jaedyn Randell (te reo Māori)

The 16-year old daughter of a South Pacific chief. As the next chieftain of her village she is at odds with her responsibility to her people and her desire to explore the sea. As a child she was chosen by the Ocean to return the Heart of Te Fiti and when her island starts being overcome by darkness she undertakes this quest to save the lives of her people and learns about herself and her heritage along the way.
  • Action Girl: Moana is a tough heroine who fights off a whole bunch of evil Kakamora, stands up to Te Kā, and restores the heart of Te Fiti.
  • Adorkable: She's headstrong and competent, but also acts awkwardly goofy at times.
  • All-Loving Heroine: She is very empathetic, and looks to help herself by helping and understanding others first.
  • Badass Adorable: Moana is a cute, friendly, and occasionally goofy teenager. She also will take on the Kakamora pirates or ear-handle the demigod Maui himself if she must accomplish something.
  • Badass Normal: She's up against Kakamora pirates, a human-eating crab monster, and a lava demon. And while the Ocean chose her to restore the Heart of Te Fiti and she receives help from Maui and the Ocean when needed, Moana has no powers yet performs extremely well against the obstacles she encounters.
  • Badass Pacifist: Moana stops Te Kā/Te Fiti by reminding the goddess that she knows who she is, which is not a goddess of destruction.
  • Bad Liar:
    • During the scene in Tamatoa's cave where she's trying to distract Tamatoa with the made-up story that she came because he was amazing and wanted to know how he became so "crabulous". Tamatoa only "buys it" because it gives him a chance to talk about himself.
    • At the beginning of the movie, when a village guy is getting tattooed and reacts painfully, he asks "Is it done yet?". Moana glancing at the small, barely started tattoo on his vast open back awkwardly says "So close!".
    • When she says "That's good pork!" in front of Pua and sees his crestfallen reaction, she gets flustered over her Innocently Insensitive remark; but her attempt to recover from her faux-pas is so awkward, it actually makes the situation even more awkward.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Sort of. She shows some skin between her top and her skirt, but the skirt is high-waisted enough to cover her navel.
  • Bold Explorer: She is described as having a strong calling to explore the sea beyond her island. Being forbidden from this seems to have only enhanced it. Later Moana earns the title of "wayfinder" from Maui.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: A platonic example. When Maui opens up about his tragic backstory and insecurities, Moana gives him a You Are Better Than You Think You Are pep talk about how his fish hook doesn't define him and reasoned that the Gods saved him because they saw something worth saving.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: After Moana gets scared off leaving the reef from her near-drowning and then her grandmother's fatal illness, she finds herself compelled to leave when the blight from Te Fiti's stolen heart has reached her island, and her people face starvation.
  • Character Development: As she grew with her adventure, Moana discovered more about herself. She came to realize that no one can define who you are, other than yourself; she was neither meant to be devoted solely to the sea or solely to her people, but to herself. As such, she was able to bring her two loves together, ultimately recreating and honoring what came before her: a unity between her people and the sea.
  • The Chief's Daughter: She is the daughter of Chief Tui, who rules her village. This does not make her a "princess".
  • The Chosen One: Played with extensively. The plot sets Moana up as a very straight example when she is chosen by the Ocean as the one to return the Heart of Te Fiti. Deconstructed, however, when it turns out she barely knows anything about sailing and is travelling alone in a vast ocean full of danger. Maui calls her out several times on this, and is actually what causes her Heroic B.S.O.D. when, after her failure to get past Te Kā, she doesn't know why the ocean chose her, either. Only after receiving reassurance from the spirits of Gramma Tala and her ancestors does she realize that her love for her people and the sea and the desire to save them propels her to continue and she embraces the spirit of The Unchosen One. However, this was a case of Moana Dramatically Missing the Point as she was focusing on the wrong qualities of character. She felt she needed to match Maui's skills but the sea chose Moana after witnessing her act of kindness and compassion in helping a baby sea turtle to the water. In the end, when facing down Te Kā charging at her, it is her compassion and empathy that reaches through Te Kā's rage and reminds her of her true self, Te Fiti, and allows her heart to be restored.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Subverted. Moana loves her island and her people, but she is drawn to the sea and a need to travel on it. At first, these appear to be in conflict but as she learns about herself and her culture, she comes to understand that her people were once voyagers until Te Fiti losing her heart turned the seas hostile forcing them to remain on their island. Once Moana completes her quest and becomes chief, she leads her people back out to the sea to reclaim their wayfinding heritage and discovers her loyalties are not as conflicting as she thought.
  • Determinator: She has a quest to complete and nothing will stand in her way, be they monsters, natural disasters, or gods. At least, until she reaches the impasse that prompts her 10-Minute Retirement.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Twice Moana jumps at the chance to go sailing into the open ocean, despite having no sailing experience. Both times she almost gets herself drowned. Maui later calls her out on it.
  • Dub Name Change: Moana (both the character and the title of the movie) is renamed to Vaiana in European releases, because an EU cosmetics company had the trademark for a brand of makeup called "Moana".
  • Establishing Character Moment: After her grandmother tells a terrifying story of gods and monsters, Moana is shown grinning in rapt attention while the other toddlers cry. She then sneaks off to play by the ocean, then escorts a newly hatched baby sea turtle to the water when a number of birds try to eat it on the way. This establishes her courage, compassion, connection to the legends and ocean, and foreshadows her future role as the escort of Maui in returning the Heart of Te Fiti.
  • Flower in Her Hair: She has one occasionally. Her mother, Sina and her grandmother, Tala, also have them. It is tradition in some Pacific Island cultures that the flower is an indication that the woman is in a committed relationship/married — however, a romantic interest for Moana is never introduced or mentioned.
  • A Girl And Her X: Moana has a close relationship with her pet pig, Pua. She later traverses the sea with Heihei, her chicken companion.
  • Guile Hero: Becomes one over the course of her adventure. She extricates herself and Maui from the predicament with Tamatoa caused by Maui's shapeshifting Magic Misfire with some trickery involving the Heart of Te Fiti, and also tricks Te Kā with a distraction in her independent bid to return the Heart.
  • The Heart: Despite all of Moana's strong characteristics, Action Girl, Determinator, Bold Explorer, etc. In the end, when facing down Te Kā charging at her, it is her compassion and empathy that reaches through Te Ka's rage and reminds her of her true self: Te Fiti.
  • The Hero: The story focuses on Moana being chosen by the Ocean to find Maui and save the world, learning more about her culture, and realizing who she is.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: She may be average in size for her age, but Maui is an exaggerated level of Samoan Stout Strength, and she thus looks tiny in comparison.
  • "I Am" Song: "I Am Moana" where she considers her identity and who she is before coming to the truth.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: An unusual inversion — Because Moana's design was created before Auli'i was cast as her voice actress yet the two look very similar to each other. Auli'i even has a tendency to dress almost exactly the way Moana does.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Moana tastes some pork and declares "That's good pork!" in front of Pua. The piglet naturally looks horrified, and Moana laughs nervously and hastily changes the subject.
  • Insistent Terminology: Never call the "chief's daughter" a "princess."
  • Instant Expert: Inverted. Being The Chosen One does not give Moana the skills necessary to sail her tiny boat alone through an ocean full of danger, no matter how much love she has for the ocean. She has to earn those skills by learning from Maui, an actual wayfinder and explorer.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Maui, as she's a 16-year-old girl and he's a thousand-year-old demigod.
  • Interspecies Friendship:
    • She (a human) and Maui (a demigod) become close friends through their journey.
    • She has an affectionate relationship with her pig Pua and chicken Heihei.
  • Ironic Name: Zig zagged. Tui and Sina named her Moana, which means "Ocean", and then spent the next 16 years trying to keep her away from it. However, Moana's name is meaningful given her connection with it.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Along the journey, she faces numerous troubles that the Ocean did little to mitigate. This was enhanced in part by her lack of experience. She even calls the Ocean out for supposedly wrecking her boat in a storm.
  • Jumped at the Call: Double (possibly triple) subverted. At first, she's more than willing to go out and explore, but after her first attempt ended in her boat being destroyed and her almost drowning, she starts becoming reluctant. However, after discovering that her ancestors were wayfinders, she becomes excited to go once again. But she then becomes reluctant to leave after her grandmother's health starts declining rapidly. But finally with her grandmother's encouragement, Moana claims one of the ancient boats and heads for the reef while singing another refrain of "How far I'll go", making it over the reef as her grandmother's spirit (who had just passed) guides her outward.
  • Kid Hero: She's only sixteen when she begins her journey.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Gramma Tala mentions in "Where You Are" that Moana has her father's stubbornness and pride.
  • Made of Iron: Moana should have been a broken pile by the end of the adventure in Lalotai after the physical abuse that Tamatoa doled out; pinching in giant claws, attempting to pull her arms out, dropped from a height when Tamatoa panic-freezes, and throwing her into the cage. Unlike Maui, she doesn't have "Demigod" as a reason why she effectively endured it.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name means "ocean" in many Polynesian languages, including Hawaiian and Maori. Her name in the European dubs, Vaiana, means "water from the cave" in Tahitian.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: She has a slight muscular build and is a Weak, but Skilled person, but has proven to be stronger than she looks. Some examples include: A midair spear-throw so hard it not only hits a thin mast but sticks deep enough for the line to support her entire weight. Pushes over a solid rock statue that's five times taller than her to get a good jumping-off point. Smashes a Kakamora right into the deck, shattering several planks. Climbs the to the top entrance of Lalotai completely unassisted. Climbs up the spines to get out of Tamatoa’s cage. Able to quickly climb Tamatoa’s shell, pull out Maui’s hook, and get back to Maui. Also sailing a canoe with no help is a physically demanding task.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: "I am Moana of Motunui. You will board my boat, and sail across the sea to return the heart of Te Fiti." Maui is... less than impressed when she first delivers these lines. He learns to take them, and her, seriously after she adds some bite to her bark.
  • Nerves of Steel: Moana calmly walks toward Te Kā — who has nearly killed a demi-god and is now charging straight toward her.
  • Nice Girl: She's friendly, caring, and good-hearted.
  • Not So Different: To Tui. The same stubbornness that keeps her her coming back to the ocean also compels him to keep stopping her. It's pointed out by Tala during the song "Where You Are" with the lines "You are your father's daughter. Stubbornness and Pride."
  • One Woman Army: She was able to take on a swarm of Kakamora by herself with only an oar.
  • Pals with Jesus: She becomes friends with a number of deities.
    • Her friendship with the Ocean started when she was a toddler and the Ocean guides her on her journey.
    • While her relationship with Maui began borderline antagonistic, they grow to become close friends.
    • After returning the heart of Te Fiti to Te Kā, who becomes Te Fiti once again, the goddess is visibly grateful and gifts her with a new boat.
  • Le Parkour: She's quite nimble and quick to vault around the place; we first see this in one of the villagers' huts where she descends from the rafters after troubleshooting a leaky roof.
  • Plot Armor: Between all the feats listed under Made of Iron and Muscles Are Meaningless, it becomes apparent she's got more than the ocean on her side. There is growing speculation that her carrying the Heart of Te Fiti is enhancing her abilities and constitution beyond those reasonably accounted for in this trope.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Or as she prefers to be called, the Chief's Daughter. She's the daughter of the chief of her village and proves to willing to do whatever it takes to keep her village from dying.
  • Protagonist Title: The title of the movie is "Moana" and the protagonist's name is "Moana".note 
  • Pun: Moana calls Tamatoa "crabulous" when she is trying to distract him with flattery.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Her hair reaches her waist, and constantly smacks her in the face when she spins or turns too quickly.
  • Rebellious Princess: Downplayed. While she wishes to have the freedom to explore outside of her island, she acknowledges her responsibilities as her father's designated successor as Chief and takes her duties seriously. Her entire motivation for leaving the island is to save her people from devastation.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: She's lived a fairly sheltered life on the island, not needing to fight or sail and knowing very little of the world of gods and monsters, but the ocean chose her to save the world anyway. She's out of her element at first, but adapts quickly.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: She takes her duties as future Chief very seriously. Part of her reason for going to find Maui was to keep her village from dying.
  • She Is the King: She is crowned Chief at the end of the movie after she saves her village from the threat of starvation.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Moana gets her share of slaspstick in several moments, like the Running Gag of Maui throwing her off the boat.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Though Moana mostly has the feminine face structure of her mother, she inherited the confident-looking brow line from her father. She also inherited a little bit of her father's brawny build.
  • Survival Mantra: While sailing to find Maui, and having a tough go at it with her lack of seafaring skills, Moana keeps repeating what she intends to tell the demigod: "I am Moana of Motunui! You will board my boat, sail across the sea, and restore the heart of Te Fiti!" She says it so much that she ends up mumbling the words in her sleep.
  • Take a Third Option: Throughout the movie, she's torn between leading her people as chief and answering the ocean's call. So what happens in the end? She decides she isn't a chief, or an explorer. She's both. She's Moana. After restoring the Heart of Te Fiti, she teaches her people the art of wayfinding and leads them in a new age of exploration. This is even symbolised by her placing her seashell (a symbol of her desire to explore) on the chiefs' rock stack (a symbol of her duties as a leader), showing that rather than choose one, she chose both.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Moana's first time sailing ends with her and Pua nearly drowning. The climax has her re-finding her way back to Te Kā with no help from Maui and being able to skillfully sail circles around the said goddess. Justified, as Maui had taught her how to sail during her journey.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The necklace she wears belonged to her grandmother, and started out as an easy and safe way to transport the heart of Te Fiti. Doubles as a Memento MacGuffin, which has apparently been passed down through the line of chiefs since the time her people were voyagers. Presumably Tui didn't want to wear it after his ill-fated attempt to cross the reef, so Tala keeps it instead.
  • The Unchosen One: The Ocean chose Moana return the Heart of Te Fiti and she faces doubts that she wasn't meant to do the task especially after her failure to get past Te Kā. But after encouragement from the spirit of her grandmother and her past ancestors she decides she continue on and deliver the Heart of Te Fiti, even without Maui.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Moana is a human up against Kakamora pirates, Gods/Goddesses, and monsters. She's able to survive by wits, bravery, and her growing sailing skills. Special mention goes to when she leaps off her boat with the oar, single-handedly fights off a massive legion of Kakamora, snatches Heihei (who stupidly ate the MacGuffin) away from them, and lands right back on her boat, and her helping out in the battle with Tamatoa.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal: Downplayed. Moana doesn't actively seek her parents' approval throughout the movie, since her parents constantly praise her and her actions. However, during her "I Am" Song, Moana makes a brief lament about she has trouble being the "perfect daughter" since her desire to travel on the seas is against the law, especially by her father.

Allies

    Maui 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/maui.png
"Do you know who Maui is? Only the greatest demigod in all the Pacific islands!"
Voiced by: Dwayne Johnson; Piripi Taylor (te reo Māori)

Maui is a demigod of South Pacific legends. Despite his status, Maui finds himself torn between the worlds of humanity and deity, feeling "stuck in the middle". Nevertheless, he finds enjoyment in showcasing his godlike abilities to others.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: His fish hook can slice through solid stone and lava.
  • Abusive Parents: He was not born a demigod, he was made one. His human parents were so callous that they disposed of their baby Maui by tossing him in the ocean. The Gods, however, weren't going to have any of that and gave him divine powers.
  • Acrofatic: He is surprisingly agile, as shown in his haka when trying to impress Moana.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: After a fashion — in most versions of the legend, Maui manages to reunite with his mortal family on fairly good terms. Here, he never saw them again, his last experience with them was his abandonment, and they've presumably been dead for thousands of years, so he never even gets the chance for closure.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Maui in Polynesian Mythology is described as being a thin, lithe, handsome teenager on the verge of manhood that usually has his hair tied back in a neat topknot or ponytail. The movie portrays him as a massive, muscular adult with a head of thick, wild hair. However, his broad, round face, big nose, bigger mouth, heavy brow, sloped forehead and small, piggish eyes, makes him rather weird-looking.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Zig-Zagged. The Maui of legends had his supernatural powers attributed to himself whereas the film has most of them attributed to his hook (even without the hook he has some superhuman abilities). However, certain acts, like fishing up the islands, was accomplished because of Maui's brothers and their strength, whereas in the film, it's all Maui and they've been Adapted Out.
  • The Ageless: More than a thousand years old and not a bit elderly for it, but as Tamatoa shows, he can be beaten down and possibly killed.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Downplayed example. While changed into a giant hawk, Maui is shown being capable of soaring high above the ocean, but when he tries to get past Te Kā, he never flies higher than her head nor simply flies around her.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: His fishhook is a divine weapon, gives him shapeshifting powers and can accomplish magical feats like lassoing the sun and pulling islands from the sea. Deconstructed in that he feels that he's nothing without it.
  • Angel Face, Demon Face: When Gramma Tala is telling the story of Maui stealing the heart of Te Fiti, the shadows of his cheekbones and under his eyes are accentuated giving him a harsher, more angular appearance showing his arrogance which is fitting for the tale. However, when Maui is personally encountered by Moana his features have a more natural, roundish cocky look and by the end of the film, he is smiling more, bringing out more boyish qualities to his face.
  • Animated Tattoo: His legendary feats are told through the tattoos that cover his body, and a new one appears on him whenever he does a heroic deed. The tattoos move on his skin, as well. In fact, one of the tattoos, "Mini Maui", is a character in its own right and acts as a bit of a confidant to Maui.
  • Animorphism: He can turn into an eagle, shark, beetle, iguana, fish, whale, chicken, and many other animals.
  • Badass Teacher: Maui teaches Moana how to sail.
  • Bicep-Polishing Gesture: He likes playing with his muscles.
  • Big Fun: Built like a classic giant Polynesian and is larger than life.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Combines Stout Strength with one helluva hammy, egotistical personality.
  • Broken Ace: The greatest hero humanity ever had, who gave them everything from islands to coconuts... but he not only worries that he only did it because of the divine powers he'd been granted, he cannot escape the insecurity of wanting humanity to love him to make up for the parents who abandoned him to the sea.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: A platonic example. When Maui opens up about his tragic backstory and insecurities, Moana gives him a You Are Better Than You Think You Are pep talk about how his fish hook doesn't define him and reasoned that the Gods saved him because they saw something worth saving.
  • Catchphrase: "CHEE-HOO!" (It should be noted that this is actually a Hawaiian expression of excitement, Maui just uses it a lot.)
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Maui and Moana have a fight after their first attempt to return the heart of Te Fiti fails. Maui is devastated that his hook has been badly damaged and fully blames Moana for it. He flies off stating there is no hope to save the world. But after Moana decides to try returning the heart on her own, Maui returns to distract Te Kā while she tries to return the heart. Though it's subtly implied that Mini Maui may have had a hand in this.
  • Character Development: He believed he was nothing without his deity-created fish hook, and openly lamented how useless he viewed himself whenever the hook was unavailable. Through Moana, however, he slowly began to realize that the hook is only an accessory during his adventures and that his many accomplishments over the years were a result of his own selflessness and bravery, rather than what the gods conjured to assist him in such exploits. He discovered that Moana's words of wisdom were correct, and proved so by fighting relentlessly against Te Kā, even Throwing Down the Gauntlet at Te Kā with a battle haka after the hook is completely broken.
  • Composite Character: Maui in the movie is an amalgamation of his various stories from different Pacific Island traditions, although a lot of the stories are shared among many of these traditions. Some of the specific details:
    • In most traditions, Maui pulled that particular people's home island from the ocean. Therefore, the movie Maui has a history of pulling up island after island.
    • Retrieving fire comes from every tradition's depiction of Maui except the Hawaiian one, ironically.
    • Likewise, halting the once-erratic sun is present in most depictions of Maui.
    • His use of a fishhook as his primary weapon may stem from the Tongan Maui.
    • Creating the coconut trees from the guts of an eel he buried and hoisting up the sky are both taken from the Hawaiian Maui.
    • Having been abandoned at birth is taken from the Maori depictions of Maui, who was abandoned into the sea as a premature birth, only to be rescued and cared for by ocean spirits and his divine ancestor before returning to his family as a teen.
  • Cynical Mentor: He was basically press-ganged by the ocean into going on the quest and is not happy with it, but he eventually warms to Moana and teaches her about the ocean.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His birth parents threw him into the sea when he was only a baby.
  • Deity of Human Origin: The gods turned him into a demigod after he was abandoned by his parents.
  • Defiant to the End: His fish hook destroyed, standing on a mere spit of rock, and staring down a demon of earth and fire, Maui starts chanting the haka, a Polynesian war song and accompanying dance, challenging Te Kā and buying Moana every second he can.
  • Deuteragonist: He is the film's other primary focus character alongside Moana, and his Character Development makes up much of the story.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Maui's fish hook can be seen as silhouetted artwork on the rear end of Finnick's van in Zootopia.
  • Experienced Protagonist: In contrast to Moana, Maui is familiar with the ocean and the beings they encounter, due to being a legend in his own time a thousand years ago.
  • Fallen Hero: He was a renowned hero ages ago but by Moana's time all people remember is him stealing Te Fiti's heart and dooming them all to starvation. Tala even advices Moana to order him on her boat, and drag him by the ear if necessary, instead of just asking him because he's not going to help just for the asking, and she's right. He tries to trap Moana in a cave and steal her boat.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: To be more specific, The People's Eyebrow, done as an Actor Allusion.
  • Garden Garment: His loincloth is made of leaves.
  • Giant Flyer: One of his preferred shapeshifting forms is a giant hawk.
  • Gonk: With his broad, round face, big nose, bigger mouth, heavy brow, sloped forehead and small, piggish eyes, Maui is... rather weird-looking.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: After suffering a verbal and physical beatdown from Tamatoa, as well as realizing he's seriously out of practice with his shapeshifting, Maui lies on the boat despondently singing, "Hey, it's okay, it's okay, we're dead soon. We're dead soon."
  • Heroic Build: Used to imply his supernatural strength and toughness.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Maui took the Heart of Creation from Te Fiti not for any malicious reason, but because he thought humans deserved to be able to create things with its power; also he didn't know what losing it would do to her. Since he's been living alone on an island for a thousand years, he has no idea that the humans who used to praise him now consider him at best a troublemaker, and when Moana informs him of this (and the ocean backs her up) he's crestfallen.
  • Hooks and Crooks: His Weapon of Choice is a magical giant fishing hook.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Moana is a respectable height for her age, and quite fit... but Maui is a mound of semi-divine muscle, and thus he's huge next to Moana.
  • "I Am" Song: "You're Welcome" is both this and an "I Am Great!" Song, in which he brags of all the great feats he has accomplished showing that he is indeed "Maui, demi-god of the sea and wind, shapeshifter, and hero to all".
  • Iconic Item: His powerful fish hook is mentioned in his legends with him even when everything else about him drifted away.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: The reason he gave mortals all the gifts he did, and stole the heart of Te Fiti, was because he wanted to be loved by them; to make up for the love he didn't get from his parents when they took one look at him and threw him into the ocean as a baby.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Tool of the Gods or not, it's not every day one uses a giant fish-hook as a weapon. He makes it work.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Maui acts like he's the greatest thing under the Sun, but in Tamatoa's Villain Song, the monster crab accuses Maui of not becoming a hero out of duty or care for humanity, but because their praise "made [him] feel wanted". It was also revealed that his parents abandoned him as a child, which, needless to say, would result in severe self-esteem issues. Overall, Maui seems to see his fish hook as not only the source of his powers, but also the source of his self-worth, believing that he's worthless without it.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: A variant. He's built heavier than The Rock, but his face is clearly based on his actor's, if substantially uglier. He also does The Rock's signature pec-bounce during "You're Welcome".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Moana, as he's a thousand-year-old demigod and she's a 16-year-old girl.
  • Interspecies Friendship: He (a demigod) and Moana (a human) become close friends through their journey.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He's smugly sarcastic to Moana for most of the story, but isn't wrong about a few things.
    • When the Kakamora attack and Moana asks the Ocean for help, Maui sharply notes she can't expect the Ocean to help out with everything and she must do things herself.
    • His constant snark at why the Ocean would choose a sheltered person with zero sailing experience is something that Moana questions herself.
    • After the initial battle with Te Kā, Maui calls Moana out on her reckless behavior during the battle, which almost killed both of them and led to his damaged fishhook. Moana even admits that she was blinded by the need to prove herself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's loud and kind of arrogant overall, and doesn't really think much of Moana at first. Underneath all that though, he really does have some compassion.
  • Knuckle Cracking: We see him crack his neck before his first confrontation with Te Kā.
  • Large Ham: Considering he is played by Dwayne Johnson/The Rock, it's to be expected.
  • Loin Cloth: He wears nothing more than a leaf loincloth and animal-tooth necklace because his whole body is covered in Animated Tattoos, which need to be exposed as they add depth and commentary to the ongoing story.
  • Magical Underpinnings of Reality: As we learn in his song "You're Welcome", Maui is responsible for amazing feats that altered aspects of the world for the benefit of humanity. He pulled up the sky, pulled islands from the ocean, lassoed the sun to make the days longer, and even invented coconuts.
    Kid, honestly I could go on and on!
    I could explain every natural phenomenon!
    The tide, the grass, the ground?
    Oh, that was Maui just messing around!
  • Meta Guy: Maui is the closest thing to this in the film, as he lampshades quite a few cliche things that happen, questions certain plot points, and does a fourth wall break at least once.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Shark Head Maui.
  • Morphic Resonance: Subtly. Some of his animal forms retain his tattoos.
  • The Navigator: Or Wayfinder, as he calls it. He's an expert in navigation on the open seas, and teaches Moana (under some duress) how to sail as well.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe. Maui was the greatest of heroes, a legend in his own time. He was responsible for just about every natural phenomenon. You name it, he probably did it. A thousand years later, the only thing anyone remembers about him is that he stole the heart of Te Fiti, bringing a terrible darkness upon the world.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The events of the entire film are entirely his fault, as he was the one who stole the heart of Te Fiti in the first place. He's also responsible for transforming Te Fiti into the violent lava demon Te Kā.
  • The Not-Love Interest: He and Moana go on an adventure together, start off as mildly antagonistic but grow closer, suffer a blow out with each other, but come back together. But they have no romantic interest in each other.
  • Parental Abandonment: Maui recounts that his parents "took one look, and decided they did not want me. They threw me into the sea, like I was nothing."
  • Physical God: He is a demigod.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: As big and mighty as he may be, he still lets out a shrill shriek when he sees Moana and Heihei under the boat he was "granted".
    Maui: The gods have given me a boat! *suddenly sees Moana* AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!
  • Semi-Divine: He is a demigod. However, he was born to human parents who threw him into the sea causing the gods to save him and grant him demi-godhood.
  • Sigil Spam: Somewhere on the hide of every one of his polymorph animal forms is a marking obviously shaped like that fish hook.
  • Smug Super: He has a song where he brags about all the amazing things he's done as a demi-god and how a mere human like Moana is obviously flustered by seeing his awesomeness in person. It is eventually revealed that this is a put-on he does to cope with his inferiority complex.
  • Storyboard Body: Complete with animated depiction of Maui with a mind of its own (see "Mini-Maui" below for its own character trope list).
  • Stout Strength: He has the build of a strongman rather than a bodybuilder, so while he's clearly well-muscled, he's got a significant layer of fat on him.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Strongly Implied given that the demigod who did everything regarding the Magical Underpinnings of Reality has been stuck on the same uninhabited island for a thousand years. Although we see him jump from Moana's boat in his Refusal of the Call, the distance is still relatively close to said island. His "I Am" Song has the line "Cause Maui can do anything but float" and we find out his parents threw him into the sea as a baby because they didn't want him which clearly left some emotional scars regarding the ocean.
  • Super Strength: Even putting aside the legends where he slowed the sun and fished islands out of the sea, he's seen effortlessly tossing Moana off his boat with a flick of his wrist and lifting up a boat with one hand without effort. At one point during his "I Am" Song, he flicks the oar at Moana like it was a toothpick and Moana is set off-balance from the momentum when she catches it.
  • Super Toughness: Even without his fishhook, he's superhumanly tough, surviving being thrown around by giant monsters and sprinting along literal magma with nothing more than scalded feet.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Ultimately, he chooses to give up his magic hook, to whose magical powers he attaches much of his self-worth, and which he fully believes can never be repaired or replaced in battle with Te Kā... only to have Te Fiti present him with another at the end of his quest.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Without his fish hook, he is still inhumanly strong, and resilient to physical harm and age. Since he says himself that he was not born a demigod, he got those more "baseline" demigodly powers this way.
  • Transformation Trinket: He needs his hook in order to shape-shift.
  • Trickster God: Many of Maui's gifts to humanity come from him outwitting some other god or magical creature. When he meets Moana, he messes with her a lot, such as:
    • Tricking her into trusting him by singing, dancing with her, and giving her trash as "gifts", then sealing her in a cave so that he can steal her boat. She escapes.
    • Constantly throwing her into the water because she annoys him, only for the ocean to put her back.
    • Telling her to feel for warm currents to tell where the boat is going, then urinating in the ocean to warm it up and gross her out.
    • Pretending that they need a human sacrifice to enter the Realm of Monsters.
  • Trickster Mentor: To Moana, who becomes a bit of a trickster herself. She scammed Tamatoa in the realm of monsters.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Him swiping Te Fiti's heart caused the entire plot (as well as turn the world's resident Creator Deity into the Fallen Hero she is).
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Once he gets his hook back and masters it again, he can transform into nearly any animal, fish, or insect, but most favors a giant bird form which closely resembles a pudgy Haast's Eagle.
  • Was Once a Man: Maui's backstory involves him being born to mortal parents that didn't want him, and decided to throw him into the ocean. The gods saw fit to provide him with a second chance, and granted him the status of demigod.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Maui didn't take the Heart to try and use it himself, he took it to give to humanity so they could have The Power of Creation. It was largely for the glory, but still.
  • Wild Samoan: He's a strong South Pacific isles native demigod, and he's quite a boisterous showoff about it. Plus, he's voiced by The Rock himself.
  • Worf Had the Flu: He doesn't seem to be quite as effective in battle in the present day as he was in the past, and his shapeshifting abilities are seriously out of whack. This appears to be largely due to being out of practice for a thousand years.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Played for Laughs. While he doesn't physically attack Moana, he does continually toss her into the ocean during the beginning of their journey, and he locks her away in a cave when they first meet. Inverted, though, when he actively discourages Moana to enter Tamatoa's cave — apparently exposing her to the Realm of Monsters crosses the line for him.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: His reaction to Heihei not being able to eat without direction and Moana not knowing a thing about sailing.

    The Ocean 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/moana_water.jpg

The spirit of the Pacific Ocean, who took a liking in Moana and manifests to help her.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The Ocean doesn't go by any gender pronouns, only being referred as either The Ocean or "it". This is true to Polynesian mythology as a whole, since how the ocean is personified varies from island culture to island culture.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Justified because it is the spirit of the Ocean. Therefore while it helps Moana on her journey it is also a force of nature so shipwrecks will happen and people will drown.
  • The Chooser of The One: Moana was chosen by the Ocean as the one to return the Heart of Te Fiti. It's strongly implied that the ocean "chose" Moana after she abandons going after a pretty shell and instead helps a baby sea turtle get safely to the sea and was touched by her compassion and sense of responsibility.
  • Floating Water: Behaves by creating hand or tentacle-like appendages, akin to the ones seen in The Abyss.
  • Genius Loci: The entire Pacific Ocean apparently has sentience.
  • Gentle Giant: Well, the Pacific Ocean is the largest on Earth and its spirit takes the form of giant liquid tentacles or waves when interacting with Moana.
  • Nature Spirit: The ocean has a spirit, apparently, and it's accessible to the right people...
  • Rage Breaking Point: Downplayed. The Ocean spends a great deal of effort ensuring the party stays together on the boat, patiently replacing fallen -or in Maui's case, deserting- travelers, and has to do this a lot for Heihei. After multiple chicken-overboard incidents, the ocean gets fed up, and makes sure it won't happen again by slamming the idiot rooster into a basket, and chucking that into the cargo space, smacking down the lid and trembling with annoyance.
  • Silent Snarker: The Ocean has no voice, but is capable of registering disapproval or scorn.
  • Tough Love: It'll manifest to help Moana, but only when it feels the need, and only after she's made the effort on her own.

    Mini Maui 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mini_maui.jpg

A sentient tattoo and best friend of Maui.
  • Animated Tattoo: Mini-Maui doesn't have one, he is one.
  • The Confidant: Mini Maui is unique in that he has a legitimate relationship with the actual Maui, serving as the latter's confidante, despite his inability to speak.
  • The Conscience: He often pressures Maui to do the right thing, such as accompanying young Moana on her mission to save her people, much to his host's chagrin. It's implied that he's the reason why Maui returns to save Moana from Te Kā.
  • Medium Blending: Like the rest of Maui's tattoos, he's brought to life through traditional hand-drawn animation.
  • Nice Guy: He is more polite and selfless than the demigod himself, and takes an immediate liking to Moana.
  • Silent Snarker: Mini Maui communicates by changing position or shape. He's often a critic, most noticeably by giving "Oh Snap!" expressions when Moana makes a cutting point in an argument, and keeping track of "score" in his and Moana's arguments, or mocking Maui's fear of the Heart of Te Fiti by running around and chewing his nails.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Maui's constant companion (for obvious reasons), he's also the most literal 'conscience' in Disney films since Jiminy Cricket. Maui needs a lot of looking after.
  • The Voiceless: He doesn't have a voice but has no problem with communicating his feelings.

    Heihei 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heihei_9.png
"He seems to lack the basic intelligence required for, pretty much, everything."
Voiced by: Alan Tudyk

A very stupid rooster that accompanies Moana and Maui on their journey of exploration.
  • Butt-Monkey: In the trailer alone, Maui inadvertently crushes him with a boat, he nearly gets killed by a harpoon, and he falls overboard.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Does almost nothing of note the whole journey besides physical comedy, with Moana's faith in him from early in the film constantly shown to be misplaced. However, his habit of chasing rocks to eat comes in handy at the climax where he not only stops the heart from going overboard, he gives it to Moana instead of swallowing like last time.
  • Chekhov's Skill: His tendency to peck at rocks instead of food to the point of swallowing them (including the Heart of Te Fiti in once scene) leads to him diving for the heart in the climax, saving it from going overboard.
  • Clucking Funny: He's a Plucky Comic Relief character.
  • Comically Crosseyed: He is cross-eyed, specifically of the outwardly variety. He's also very dumb, something that usually goes together with the latter trope.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": His name is literally the word for chicken in Maori.
  • The Ditz: Heihei might be the dumbest Disney character yet (and considering Disney's long list of silly characters, that's no mean feat). The official description describes him as being so stupid he's considered the village idiot.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Heihei is introduced in the Age-Progression Song "Where You Are," and we see two examples of his extreme stupidity. As a toddler, Moana takes a coconut shell off the rooster's head so he won't trip on a taro corm, only for him to walk straight into it anyway. When Moana is a child, Heihei sits on a cooking mound and Moana has to yank him out before more than his tail feathers catch fire.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Subverted; Heihei will try to eat most anything, but will quickly be forced to regurgitate inedible objects back up. Unfortunately, he manages to swallow the Heart of Te Fiti fully down, which touches off a mad scramble with the Kakamora for the dumb bird.
  • Fish Eyes: His eyes are always pointing in opposite directions with a vacant stare.
  • Forgets to Eat: Eating is almost the only concept he has the mental capacity to grasp, but he's hazy on the details - what is food, what is not food, and that in the presence of food one must bring one's mouth into contact with the food. Then eating happens.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Moana treasures him as a familiar link to her home island, but he wouldn't have been her first pick. Maui simply considers him a potential dinner that's too stupid to eat, and the Ocean even gets so fed up with him at one point that it goes out of its way to trap the birdbrain in the canoe's cargo cabinet. His ludicrous helplessness does eventually win them over.
  • Little Stowaway: He comes along for the adventure when he accidentally gets into one of the baskets that Moana brought with her on the boat.
  • The Load: He regularly needs to be saved from his own stupidity, though these moments are comic relief, rather than plot impediments. He's mostly useless, only having one moment where he's helpful, late in the plot.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Serves as an animal sidekick for the heroes in fine Disney tradition. Maui even straight up calls him an animal sidekick! He could be considered a parody of the traditional Disney sidekick, as he can't talk and is so stupid that he usually causes more problems for Moana than he solves.
  • Oh, Crap!: Heihei has an epic one when he realizes Moana took the canoe he was sleeping in out to sea. Thanks to Moana's coaxing (and his general lack of an attention span), the rooster gets over his fear almost instantly.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Originally he was a smart animal who supported Tui's decision for Moana to remain on the island and worked to keep her there. John Lasseter was going to delete him from the movie feeling he had become a Sebastian expy. His character was saved when the creative team dramatically lowered his IQ to bring out the comedic aspect of his character.
  • Sphere Eyes: Of the separated variety, because due to him being a chicken, they're on opposite sides of his head.
  • Stealth Pun: Being an extremely stupid chicken, Heihei is literally a dumb cluck, as well as a "birdbrain".
  • Too Dumb to Live: Early on, one village elder points out that he is trying to eat a rock (he almost chokes on it, then tries to eat it again after spitting it out) and says that he "lacks the basic intelligence required for pretty much anything". Moana and the Ocean both have to save him from walking off the canoe and drowning immediately, several times. The problem is, as detailed by production team comments on his character, that he's too dumb to die when he should as well. It's Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Twitchy Eye: Gets one as he realizes that he's in the boat surrounded by the ocean.

Residents of Motunui Village

    Tui & Sina Waialiki 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tui_and_sina.jpg
"There comes a day when you're gonna look around and realize happiness is where you are."
Voiced by: Temuera Morrison (Tui, speaking voice), Christopher Jackson (Tui, singing voice), Nicole Scherzinger (Sina); Amanda Ashton (Sina, te reo Māori)

Moana's parents and the chiefs of their island.
Tropes that apply to both:
  • Adult Fear: The only way to save their people from certain starvation is for their only child to go on a quest that could very well kill her. For most of the movie, as Moana is at sea, they have no idea how she's doing, if she's alive or dead, or if she will succeed in restoring life to the island.
  • Good Parents: They both are encouraging (except when it comes to sailing) to Moana and have immense pride in their daughter.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: While Sina isn't waifish, she's small when compared to the large Tui, though not to the same extreme as Moana and Maui.
  • Nice Person: Both are supportive and kind individuals.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: They are part of Chiefdom, and one of their main duties is to protect and take care of their people. They also raised Moana into doing the same thing.
  • Ruling Couple: Both equally carry out duties regarding their home and people.

Tropes that apply to Tui:
  • Adult Fear:
    • At the beginning of the movie toddler Moana wanders away from the hut where Tala and Tui are arguing over whether the legends are true or not and goes down to the beach. Once he realizes she is missing, Tui anxiously searches for her. When he discovers her on the beach at the water's edge, you can see fear and concern on his face as he realizes how close she is to the ocean alone and unsupervised. Considering what happened to his friend it's hard to blame him.
    • When Tui was a teen, he and his best friend stole one of the fishing boats and went out sailing. They got caught up in a storm, where Tui tried and failed to save his friend from drowning.
  • Anger Born of Worry:
    • When the fishermen of the village discover that the fish are deserting the lagoon, Moana suggests that they could fish beyond the reef. Despite the fair argument for it, Tui blows up at her for bringing up the idea because the way he see it it'll endanger everybody. Afterwards, Sina explains to Moana that Tui's best friend drowned in a storm when the two of them recklessly sailed beyond the reef as teens and that Tui was terrified of his daughter and/or the villagers suffering the same fate.
    • When Moana bursts into a council meeting exclaiming that their people used to be voyagers, Tui does not take it well and promptly heads off to burn all the boats hidden in storage, because he knows they're too big a temptation for her.
  • Appeal to Tradition: He has faith in the islands' traditions, and honors the ancient chiefs' decision to forbid voyaging especially when his own youthful stubbornness led him to travel beyond the reef leading to the death of his best friend. This causes conflict with Moana's own wanderlust as all she hears is his appeal that "We've Always Done It This Way" and was unaware of his deep concern that he will lose her beyond the reef like he lost his friend.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: In his youth, he and his friend went sailing one night, but a storm destroyed their boat. Tui managed to survive the wreckage, but his friend drowned.
  • Foil: To his mother Tala as one of Moana’s role models. While Tala is playful, considered the "crazy lady" of the village and encourages Moana's wanderlust, Tui is the Chief of Motunui, and due to a traumatizing experience with the ocean, actively discourages Moana's desire to explore the sea.
  • Overprotective Dad: To Moana, forbidding her to go near the ocean. Sina reveals to Moana that the reason why Tui worries about Moana going into the ocean is because he and his friend went sailing late one night beyond the reef and got caught in a storm. Having no experience on how to deal with rough open seas resulted in their canoe getting destroyed and Tui's friend drowning.
  • Parents as People: While he loves Moana and has great faith in her being the next Chief of Motunui, because of his Dark and Troubled Past he actively discourages her from going out to sea despite knowing Moana's obvious love for it.
  • Pride: According to his mother Tala, he is full of this which keeps him from seeing how wrong he is and admitting it, a trait he shares with his daughter.
  • Principles Zealot: When Moana brings up the idea of fishing beyond the deserted lagoon, Tui refuses to listen to his daughter's fair argument, going so far as to accuse her of using the fish shortage as an excuse to go sailing.
  • Survivor's Guilt: According to Sina, Tui's friend begged him to go with him on the boat, which contributed to his guilt from not being able to save him from drowning even more.

Tropes that apply to Sina:
  • Flower in Her Hair: Sina wears one on the left side of her head (signifying that she's married/in a relationship).
  • Motherly Side Plait: Sina's hair is styled this way — which gives off her maternal love for Moana.
  • Women Are Wiser: She's less strict and overbearing than her husband. While Tui just hardlines "No ocean sailing!" without any other explanation much to Moana's frustration, Sina explains Tui's own personal tragedy that led to him being so vehement, so Moana would better understand. When she spots Moana secretly packing, she understands that Moana has to make the trip and helps her.

    Gramma Tala 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tala_moana.jpg
"There is nowhere you could go that I won't be with you."
Voiced by: Rachel House

Moana's paternal grandmother. Like her granddaughter, she has a love for sea exploration, having come from an ancestry of South Pacific navigators.
  • All-Loving Hero: Tala likes everyone, and while her ideas are not necessarily respected, she is well liked by the villagers.
  • Animal Motifs: She has a manta ray tattoo on her back and tells Moana she wants to be reincarnated as one when she dies. She gets her wish.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Self-proclaimed "crazy lady".
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: She may be thought of as the "crazy lady", but she was right in the ancient stories being true.
  • The Confidant: "Moana’s confidante and best friend, who shares her granddaughter’s special connection to the ocean." Tala encourages Moana to follow "the voice inside", and when Moana worries about Tala telling her dad that she wrecked a canoe trying to sail past the reef, Tala points out that she's Tui's mother, and doesn't have to tell him anything if she doesn't want to.
  • Cool Old Lady: Tala is wise yet humorous, and she also provides great advice to Moana. She is the only one in the village who treats the Maui legend as true. As such, she takes in stride that she is considered the "village crazy lady", but she also is the one who sees Moana's spirit for what it is and encourages it despite Tui's misgivings. She also has a magnificent tattoo of a mantra ray, her spirit animal, covering her entire upper back.
  • Doting Grandparent: Unlike her son, Tala encourages Moana's curiosity toward the ocean and sailing.
  • Elderly Immortal: It's implied that she's been kept alive at least a little past her lifespan by possessing the Heart of Te Fiti. When she gives it away to Moana, she passes away in a matter of hours.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Tala goes wading in the ocean and says calmly when she sees a group of manta rays, "When I die, I want to come back as one of these."
  • Foil: To her son Tui as one of Moana’s role models. While Chief Tui is proper, respected, and forbids sailing into the open ocean, Tala is shamelessly kooky and seen by Motunui as a crazy old woman. Most of all, she remembers her people's past as a glorious era, and hopes the day will come when they resume voyaging.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Is shown to be Moana's greatest teacher and guide, only to die very quickly before Moana's journey.
  • Nice Girl: She is a caring and supportive figure who loves Moana and just wants her to be herself.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Grandmother Tala's ghost looks translucent but is not intangible. She and Moana can hug!
  • Playing Gertrude: Rachel House was only 44-45 during recording. Temuera Morrison, playing her son, is 11 years her senior.
  • Resurrective Immortality: She plays with the manta rays in the water and declares, "when I die, I will come back as one of these... or else I've chosen the wrong tattoo." She didn't choose the wrong tattoo.
  • Reverse Psychology: After Moana nearly drowns herself and Pua, she declares that she's not going to try sailing anymore in a defeated tone. Gramma Tala surprises her by not trying to talk her out of it, but instead waits patiently for Moana to ask for guidance.
    Moana: Why aren't you trying to talk me out of it?
    Gramma Tala: You said that's what you wanted.
  • Spirit Advisor: Tells Moana that she'll be with her no matter what. After her death, she keeps her word and appears to guide Moana in her Darkest Hour.
  • The Storyteller: As showcased in her Opening Monologue in which she retells the legend of the Heart of Te Fiti to the youngsters of the village.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Downplayed. She relates the legend of Maui as it was passed down for generations. While not intending to be unreliable, her story styles Maui as a sinister figure who stole the Heart of Te Fiti for his own gain. Instead it turns out that he had been planning on giving it to humanity as a gift. The same story presents Te Ka as one of the demons who arose in an attempt to gain the power of Te Fiti for themselves. In reality, Te Ka turns out to be a corrupted form of Te Fiti and just wants to get back what was stolen from her.

    Pua 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pua_moana.png

Moana's pet piglet.
  • Advertised Extra: Despite being prominently marketed, Pua is barely present in the film, only showing up at the start and end.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: He acts more like a puppy than a pig. In one scene he encourages Moana to take a boat out by holding an oar in its mouth like a fetched stick and wagging its tail.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Considering how much he's seen in the advertising, it would be easy to assume that Pua is going to be Moana's Non-Human Sidekick, as would be traditional for a Disney movie, and he certainly fits the mold. Which makes for quite the surprise to the audience when that role is filled by Heihei.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": A pig named "Pig"/"Pork" in some Polynesian languages.
  • Empathy Pet: His constant begging Moana to go sailing mirrors her own constant desire to venture beyond the reef, and his terror at so much as seeing an oar after he and Moana nearly drown mirrors her own (temporary) fear.
  • Expressive Ears: His ears droop when he hears Moana ate pork.
  • Meaningful Name: Pua's name is derived from the word "puaka", which refers to "pig" and "pork" in some Polynesian languages.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Perpetuates the Disney animal sidekick tradition. Downplayed, as he stays behind on Motunui rather than joining Moana on her journey.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Is depicted as a piglet even when Moana was young, though that could have been another pig.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Just look at those eyes!

Antagonists

     The Kakamora 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kakamora_moana.jpg

A tribe of crazy intense coconut-armoured pygmy pirates.
  • Badass Adorable: They look like cute little coconut pygmy people... until they draw their war faces, break out their weapons, and reveal giant war boats that would make the Doof Warrior proud.
  • Blow Gun: Their weapon of choice. Just one dart is enough to (mostly) immobilize Maui.
  • Cephalothorax: Their coconut armor rounds their bodies out entirely, with only their limbs poking out.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Moana and Maui together only barely manage to keep the Kakamora from overrunning their tiny boat, and are helpless to keep one of them from seizing Heihei and the Heart of Te Fiti. Maui's ready to bail, but Moana wrests the one oar away from the demigod and goes after the Kakamora. Immediately after landing on their boat, she's confronted by a whole mass of them. She spends the next three minutes knocking dozens of them off the boat, evading countless poison darts and harpoons, rescuing Heihei and the Heart, hurling a spear hard enough to create a fully-functional zipline to get back to her own boat. The Kakamora ships then crash into each other in their eagerness to trap Moana and Maui.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Hawk-eyed viewers will notice that one of the Kakamora has Baymax's face painted on it.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Even though there are thousands of them, none of them manage to hit Moana or Maui with their blow darts. One instead pegs their chief, keeling him over.
  • Killer Rabbit: Moana's "Aww!" at how cute they look quickly turns into an "Oh, Crap!" expression when they draw their angry faces and attack. By Word of God, think of Mad Max: Fury Road's Immortan Joe armada troops as coconuts, on the sea, and with blowdarts, and you have the idea on how the Kakamora can be feared.
  • Post-Apunkalyptic Armor: Their coconut shell armor is designed to invoke a Bamboo Technology version of the kind of scavenged armor that mooks in your standard post-apocalyptic world would wear.
  • Rage Helm: They start off as cute pygmy creatures in coconut shell armor/helm. Then they draw their angry faces and you know they're trouble.
  • Shout-Out: Word of God says they were inspired by the Warboys from Mad Max: Fury Road.
  • Silent Antagonist: They never speak throughout their entire assault on Moana and Maui, conveying their malicious intent through their drawn-on angry faces, pounding drums, blowing horns, and occasional screeches.
  • Starter Villain: The first antagonists encountered, and far less of a threat than Tamatoa and Te Kā. However, they demonstrate the point made by Gramma Tala and Maui that a lot of unpleasant things would like to get their hands on Te Fiti's heart.
  • This Means Warpaint: They normally appear blank-faced, and actually draw on their angry faces and teeth for battle.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: The Kakamora's Weapon of Choice.
  • Waddling Head: The Kakamora pirates are tiny pygmy people with arms and legs, wearing coconuts as armor.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: While highly numerous and armed to the teeth, they're still coconuts. As soon as Moana realizes this, she takes her oar and bats them around like baseballs.
  • Zerg Rush: Very fond of this tactic thanks to their sheer numbers.

    Tamatoa 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tamatoa.png
"Now I know I can be happy as a clam, because I'm beautiful, baby!"
Voiced by: Jemaine Clement

A giant narcissistic crab monster who aspires to be more than a bottom feeder and overcompensates for his shortcomings by adorning himself with treasures.
  • Agent Peacock: He is vain, shallow, and campy with effeminate mannerisms and a voice like David Bowie. He's also very cruel and more than capable of the beating the out-of-practice Maui into the ground and comes alarmingly close to eating both of our heroes.
  • Air Guitar: A variation, he holds Maui up with his hook and hits him like he's playing a guitar at one point during "Shiny". Similarly, he toys with Moana by singing into the top of her head like a microphone - even turning away to catch his breath for the next line.
  • An Arm and a Leg: One of his legs is missing a part of it, thanks to a previous encounter with Maui.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: Amongst the film's traditional, Polynesian-style songs, his Villain Song, "Shiny", leans more towards psychedelic rock (think David Bowie meets Lin-Manuel Miranda).
  • Art Major Biology: Tamatoa is stated to be a "kong-sized coconut crab" by artist Andrew Chesworth, though he lacks the land-dwelling habitat of real life coconut crabs, acting more like a giant decorator crab. He also apparently has a grudge on Maui because he ripped off one of his legs, but the legs of crabs normally grow back over time. Of course, Tamatoa is a supernatural being, so he need not fully comply with any actual species. Furthermore, growing back his leg would require him to shed his shell, which he's far too vain to ever consider.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: He's humongous.
  • Ax-Crazy: It doesn't take a genius to realize he's completely psychotic.
  • Badass Boast: Has a whole song dedicated to how great he is, but two lines stand out.
    Send your armies, but they'll never be enough! My shell's too tough.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Manages to be a combination of both Laughably Evil and terrifying.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: When Tamatoa shuts the giant clam shell forming the top of his lair, the gold on his carapace and legs, and the tips of his chelae glow blue; and purple markings appear on his body — the ones on his antennae flashing like strobe lights. They disappear when he tries to eat Maui, and reappear when Moana distracts him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • He speaks directly to the audience during The Stinger, asking them to help him after his encounter with Moana and Maui left him stuck on his back.
    Tamatoa: If my name was Sebastian and I had a cool Jamaican accent, you’d totally help me!
    • During his song, after describing himself as a decapod, he gives an Aside Glance and tells the audience to look it up.
  • Break Them by Talking: The bridge between the second and third choruses in "Shiny" has him glowing in the dark and singing Maui one of these, which tips off Moana to the fact that Maui was abandoned by his parents when Tamatoa reveals that tattoo on Maui's back.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Essentially the whole point of "Shiny", where he goes into glorious, hammy detail about the brilliance of his gold-encrusted carapace... and how he is a murderous, smug bastard.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Downplayed, he has some odd moments like when Moana tricked him, but he's still smart enough to be a threat.
  • Dance Battler: Type 4, just plain nuts. He dances to his Villain Song while fighting Maui.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has a deadpan sense of humor, courtesy of the equally-deadpan Jemaine Clement.
  • Dirty Coward: He is positively terrified when he realizes Maui has recovered his fish hook. But when it's made clear that Maui is unable to use it like he once did, Tamatoa starts mocking and pummeling him mercilessly.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: He comes very close to this when asking "get it" about his "get the hook" line.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He briefly shows up alongside other monsters in Gramma Tala's story at the start of the film, and Maui's tattoo of him is pointed out for a split second during "You're Welcome".
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: At one point during his beat-down of Maui, Tamatoa puts him on his shell and spins around so fast that Maui is flung off to crash onto the ground.
  • Evil Is Hammy: In true Disney Villain fashion, he's extravagantly over-the-top. What else would you expect from a character voiced by Flight of the Conchords's Jemaine Clement?
  • Fatal Flaw: Vanity. Even when he suspects Moana is just trying to get him to talk about himself he still allows himself to be distracted and gladly indulges her in a talk about his greatness... in song form no less.
  • Flipping Helpless: When Moana and Maui escape on a geyser, the geyser knocks Tamatoa onto his back. The Stinger reveals that he's still stuck on his back.
  • Four-Legged Insect: Despite referring to himself as a "decapod" (which means "ten-legged" in Latin), only eight limbs are shown: two large claws on the front, two small claws on the back, and four legs for walking (of which one is partially missing). Subverted in that Tamatoa's design is based on the coconut crab and this is accurate for that species, whose fifth, hindmost pair of legs are small, and usually held inside the carapace out of sight.
  • Funny Animal Anatomy: While the rest of his body looks pretty much how a real coconut crab looks, his face is far more cartoony, probably so that the animators could show more exaggerated and recognizable emotion.
  • Gem-Encrusted: Inspired by Maui's tattoos, Tamatoa has spent centuries covering himself in gold and jewels to make up for his otherwise rather plain shell.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: He's a 50-foot crab that has gained possession of Maui's magical fishhook. Since Maui ripped off one of his legs in the past, he's more than willing to give him a Curb-Stomp Battle once he sees that Maui has lost control of his shape shifting.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: And he is indeed very shiny.
  • Handicapped Badass: Maui cut off one of his legs in the past, but that doesn't stop him from being a mighty force to be reckoned with.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Once he's flipped by a geyser, the treasures on his shell weigh him down so he can't pick himself back up.
  • Impossibly Graceful Giant: He's shockingly speedy and dexterous for a fifty-foot crustacean.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: His love for adorning himself with shiny treasures is said to be an attempt to cover up his insecurity. After all, he was a drab little crab once...
  • Karma Houdini: He's still alive and unharmed at the end of the film, though stuck on his back.
  • Kick the Dog: He mocks Moana for following her late grandmother's advice about being who you are on the inside, claiming that the only thing that matters in life is how you look on the outside. He does the same to Maui by bringing up his Parental Abandonment, all while beating him to a pulp.
  • Laughably Evil: His personality, and his singing especially, is unbelievably silly. It all seems harmless enough when Moana is just distracting him while Maui retrieves the fishhook. But when it becomes apparent that Maui has Lost a Level in Badass since they last fought and can no longer defeat the crab, Tamatoa resumes singing, incorporating mockery of Maui into the lyrics while beating him up. At this point it becomes clear that Tamatoa represents a credible threat to lives of both protagonists, and he has become genuinely terrifying, yet has not stopped being silly, and manages to achieve a really unnerving combination of being menacing and funny at the same time.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He is strong enough to overpower Maui, and is also much faster than something his size has any business being.
  • Long-Lived: Well over a thousand years old.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: His song is very cheerfully sung and contains such lyrics as "You will die, die, die! / Now it's time for me to take apart / Your aching heart! / Maui! Now it's time to kick your hiney! / Soak it in 'cause it's the last you'll ever see / Now I'll eat you so prepare your final plea, just for me."
  • Mad Eye: One of his pupils is slightly dilated, in a reference to David Bowie.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: He's a giant crab who ate his own grandma, who, according to him, was humongous.
  • Mood-Swinger: According to Word of God, Tamatoa is unpredictable and possibly insane. His mood tends to shift at the drop of a hat, going from cheeky and comedic, to murderous and menacing in a mere matter of seconds.
  • Mundane Utility: His gold-encrusted shell, it seems, serves a practical purpose—attracting fish for him to eat.
  • Narcissist: His entire villain song is a monument to his ego, with him singing about how beautiful and powerful he is. Though, like Maui, the major reason he decorates himself is to mask his own insecurities.
    "Are you just trying to get me to talk about myself? Because if you are...I WILL GLADLY DO SO! In song form!"
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Maui might have torn off one of his legs in the past, but in the film, nothing Maui does hurts him at all.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Tamatoa is basically David Bowie, if David Bowie were a giant evil crab monster with a shell covered in gold trinkets. Lin-Manuel Miranda even confirmed he wrote the song "Shiny" as a tribute to Bowie who had recently passed away.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: When he realizes Maui cannot use his hook the way he used to, the supernatural crab takes full advantage of his giant size to whale on him, all while singing about how amazing he is.
  • Not So Different: As he points out to Maui in his Villain Song, he and Maui are both highly egotistical supernatural beings who cover their bodies with works of art. Maui, his tattoos. Tamatoa, "shiny" treasures and bioluminescent algae.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he first sees Maui wielding the fish hook, his initial reaction is to freeze in terrified anticipation of the beat down he's expecting. But he is quick to regain his composure when he sees Maui's shape-shifting Magic Misfire.
  • Power Glows: He covers himself with bioluminescent algae, so he can be shiny even in the dark.
  • Power Pincers: Tamatoa has four pincers: two large ones up front, and a smaller pair on his fourth set of legs.
  • Rotten Rock & Roll: His Villain Song "Shiny" is a David Bowie-esque psychedelic rock song, opposed to the more traditional, ballad-like songs sung by the heroic characters.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: He has no qualms about eating sapient beings, be it humans, demigods, or his own grandmother.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Tamatoa combines traits of coconut and decorator crabs, two crustaceans rarely seen in media.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Maui. Tamatoa prides himself on the treasures he adorns himself with, openly stating he was a "drab little crab" before he started collecting shiny things. Similarly, Maui overcompensates for his low self-esteem by performing heroic deeds and receiving praise for said deeds. Tamatoa even states that he got the idea from Maui's tattoos (which appear whenever he performs a heroic deed). The difference between them is that Tamatoa whole-heartedly accepts the fact that he's overcompensating and even believes that it's the right way to go. Maui however, wishes he didn't need to define his self-worth this way.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Oddly enough, Tamatoa does not appear in any of the trailers, except for a short cameo in the form of one of Maui's tattoos, and a few TV spots.
  • Sissy Villain: Downplayed, as his only effeminate qualities are his vanity and his flamboyancy.
  • Shout-Out: His song, "Shiny", is a tribute to David Bowie's Glam Rock era, right down to his speech patterns and mannerisms.
  • Shown Their Work: Coconut crabs — which Tamatoa is based on — are also called "robber crabs" because of their habit of stealing shiny objects. He also shares the coconut crab's predilections towards isolation (holing himself up in a cave) and cannibalism (see Monstrous Cannibalism above).
  • Smug Snake: While he is a genuine threat to Moana and Maui, his arrogance, narcissism, and vanity are totally disproportionate to his status, and for all his talk, he's ultimately defeated by getting knocked over and stuck on his back, weighed down by all his shiny treasure.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: He even sings a song about how awesome and beautiful he is while dishing out a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Third-Person Person: His Villain Song / "I Am Great!" Song "Shiny" starts with this:
    Tamatoa: Well, Tamatoa hasn't always been this glam...
  • That's No Moon!: At first, we don't see Tamatoa in his cave, just a big pile of treasure with Maui's hook on top of it. Then Moana walks in and the "pile" begins to move...
  • To Serve Man: Tries to eat both Moana and Maui during his Villain Song.
  • Vocal Dissonance: When we first hear Tamatoa speak his voice is deep. However, his natural tone is higher and more campy, indicating that he only brings out the deep voice when he needs to be threatening. He gains a more demonic second voice in the second half of his song.
  • Villain Respect: During his song, he admits to liking Maui's tattoos because they give him a good distinct look, much like Tamatoa's shell.
    "Yet I have to give you credit for my start, And your tattoos on the outside, For just like you I made myself a work of art"
  • Villain Song: "Shiny", of which he spends half the time boasting about how good (he thinks) he looks and the other half dissing (and beating the crap out of) Maui.
  • Voice of the Legion: The movement of "Shiny" where he shuts off his cave, begins glowing, and gives Maui a Break Them by Talking moment by tearing into his past also gives him a second, more demonic voice.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Tamatoa physically manhandles Moana, then attempts to eat her when they first met.
  • Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: Tamatoa emphasizes the "demi" part of Maui's status of "demigod" in his Villain Song.

    Te Kā 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/teka_2.jpg

A demon made of fire and lava, and an ancient foe to Maui.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Is only ever called a "demon," and both Moana and Maui refer to it as, well, "it." As Te Fiti, she's actually female. In the Cut Song "Unstoppable", Te Kā (then called Te Po) is referred to as female.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Has its hands cut off multiple times by Maui, but regenerates them quickly.
  • Arc Symbol: The familiar spiral symbol of Te Fiti's heart can be spotted on its body after Moana realizes who it really is.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: She is quite a large ferocious creature that burns with extreme heat.
  • Big Bad: It was responsible for separating Maui from his fish hook during his initial theft of Te Fiti's heart, and it is talked up throughout the film as the final threat to be overcome before the heart can be returned. The truth is a bit more complicated. Te Kā is the corrupted form of Te Fiti, and unless the heart is returned directly to Te Kā, neither can ever be saved.
  • Color Motifs: Red and black — representing her destruction to life.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Maui's theft of Te Fiti's heart led her to become Te Kā, go on a destructive rampage, summon monsters, and drain islands of their resources.
  • The Comically Serious: Though it's mostly a humorless threat, its reactions to some of Maui's antics when he's distracting it from Moana are pretty amusing.
  • Fallen Hero: It's revealed that it is actually the goddess Te Fiti, and was transformed into a fiery lava demon after Maui stole her heart.
  • Final Boss: Te Kā is the last and most important obstacle Moana and Maui have to confront in the film, and unlike the Kakamora and Tamatoa, this one is a serious deal.
  • Foil: To Te Fiti. While Te Fiti was a goddess of life, Te Kā is a goddess of destruction.
  • Genius Loci: She's actually Te Fiti, the Mother Island.
  • Healing Factor: Regrows parts that are cut off by Maui's fishhook almost instantly.
  • The Heartless: As it turns out, Te Kā is this, having been Te Fiti until her heart was stolen. Giving it back restores her to her true self.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Both the Kakamora and Tamatoa are part of two very comical (albeit still genuinely threatening) sequences. Te Kā is the de-facto Big Bad, and is played completely seriously to the point where even Maui is scared of it.
  • Logical Weakness: Te Kā, being made out of lava, is unable to make contact with water without hardening into solid rock, forcing it to throw off the hardened parts and regrow them. Moana goads it into dipping its hand into the water a few times, and in the climactic battle, Maui transforms from a bug to a whale in mid-air, splashing lots of water onto it in a giant cetacean belly-flop.
  • Mad God: Is actually Te Fiti driven into a mad fury without her heart.
  • Magma Man: It's a volcano-like being that can hurl lava. She uses her powers to set fire to Moana's boat and crack Maui's fish hook.
  • Motive Misidentification: Tala's stories assume that it's just another "demon of the deep" who desires the heart as Maui did. It's revealed that she's actually Te Fiti in a corrupted form and simply wants it returned to her.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Does little but sit around on the outer island ring and attack anyone who comes near... which makes sense given that going into the water would kill it.
  • Physical God: Maui is scared to hell of it, and even at his full power, he can do little more than inconvenience it.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Initially, it seems masculine or gender-less. In the climax, when Moana realizes it's actually Te Fiti, it appears to become more feminine before its heart is restored.
  • Throat Light: Its mouth glows since it's, well, made of lava.
  • Tragic Monster: Te Kā is really the goddess Te Fiti, transformed into a demon from the loss of her heart. Moana manages to change her back by reminding her of who she truly is inside and returning her heart once she's been calmed.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Te Kā and Te Fiti are one and the same; Te Fiti became Te Kā after her heart was stolen.
  • Walking Spoiler: Its true identity as Te Fiti without her heart is this, especially for the climax of the movie.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Te Fiti was transformed by the rage at losing her heart into Te Kā.

Others

    Te Fiti 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/te_fiti_moana.jpg

The Goddess of Life, who created every island in the world.
  • And I Must Scream: After Maui steals her heart, she is transformed into Te Kā and could only roar in anger and madness.
  • Big Good: She's the kindest and most benevolent character in the entire film. One of the rare cases where the Big Good and the Big Bad are the same individual.
  • Color Motifs: Green — representing the life she gives.
  • Cool Crown: A Haku Lei (similar to a Flower Crown) grows upon her head out of the greenery she produces.
  • Facial Dialogue: Even after she makes her appearance, she utters no words, getting everything she's thinking across with her facial expressions.
  • Genius Loci: Is more or less a living, moving island in the shape of a woman, and becomes the Mother Island when she sleeps. The fact she's also Te Kā is revealed via the double Wham Shot of the Mother Island being missing, and Te Kā bearing the empty spiral-shaped Heart socket on its chest.
  • God: She's the Creator Deity of the world this film takes place in.
  • God Is Good: She's thought of as a Mother goddess who brings life to all in the world. Not only does she forgive Maui for stealing her heart in the first place, she even gives him a new fish hook.
  • Green Thumb: She is able to create multiple islands and fill them with life.
  • Mother Nature: Te Fiti is the only being with the power to create life, and she uses it to create and nurture the life of the Pacific Islands.
  • Person of Mass Construction: As an all-powerful goddess, Te Fiti used her life-giving heart to spread the gift of life across the world, creating multiple islands that would be inhabited by flora, fauna, and humans.
  • The Power of Creation: She has the ability to create life through the power of her heart.
  • Turtle Island: As the Mother Island, she resembles an island shaped like a sleeping woman.
  • Two Aliases, One Character: Te Kā and Te Fiti are one and the same.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/Moana