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Characters / Moana

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Characters from the Disney Animated Canon film Moana.


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Main Characters

    Moana Waialiki
"The ocean chose me for a reason."
Voiced by: Auli'i Cravalho (English and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi), Louise Bush (as a toddler); Sabrina Laughlin (reo Tahiti), Uramateata Tauru-Paia (reo Tahiti, as a toddler), Vaipuarii Raapoto (reo Tahiti, as a young girl); 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, learning 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.
  • 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 will also 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 glances at the small, barely-started tattoo on his vast open back, and awkwardly tells him "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 Midriffs Are Feminine: She's the teenage female protagonist who, while courageous and can put up a fight (and hates being called a princess), is also compassionate and caring. 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 "master wayfinder" from Maui.
  • Broken Record: Moana gets caught up in the elation of learning the truth about her ancestors and runs around Gramma Tala repeatedly shouting "We were voyagers!".
  • 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 reasons 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 after her near-drowning, and then dearly wishes to be with her family during her grandmother's fatal illness, she finds herself compelled to leave when the blight from Te Fiti's stolen heart reaches her island and her people face starvation.
  • Character Development:
    • As she grows throughout her adventure, Moana discovers more about herself. She comes to realize that no one can define who you are, other than yourself; she is neither meant to be devoted solely to the sea or solely to her people, but to herself. As such, she is able to bring her two loves together, ultimately recreating and honoring what came before her: a unity between her people and the sea.
    • She also has a huge reckless streak and habit of going into things without a plan. This gets her into trouble a few times and eventually leads to events where Maui’s hook is damaged. After this, Moana learns to be more careful and plan ahead better.
  • The Chew Toy: Moana gets her share of slapstick in several moments, like the Running Gag of Maui throwing her off the boat.
  • The Chief's Daughter: She is the daughter of Chief Tui, who rules her village. This does not make her a "princess".
    (When Maui calls her "Princess")
    Moana: Okay, first... I'm not a princess. I'm the daughter of the chief.
    Maui: Same difference.
    Moana: No.
    Maui: If you wear a dress, and you have an animal sidekick... you're a princess.
  • The Chosen One: Zigzagged. The plot sets up Moana as a straight example when she is chosen by the Ocean as the one to return the Heart of Te Fiti. It's 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 on this several times, and it's what causes her Heroic BSoD 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, it turns out that Moana was Dramatically Missing the Point, as she was focusing on the wrong qualities of character. She didn't need to have the heroic skills of Maui because 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 also drawn to the sea and wants to explore 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. She discovers that her loyalties are not as conflicting as she thought and so when Moana completes her quest and becomes chief, she leads her people back out to the sea to reclaim their wayfinding heritage.
  • Costume Evolution: At the end of the movie, she gets a new outfit consisting of plants and leaves.
  • Determinator: She has a quest to complete and nothing will stand in her way, be they monsters, natural disasters, or gods. She continues her quest even as it becomes increasingly dangerous, against Maui's wishes. This causes 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".
  • Early Personality Signs: Ever since she was a tiny toddler, Moana has been drawn to the ocean and wanted to explore it.
  • Elemental Motifs: Moana has always been drawn to the ocean and has the quiet strength and deep compassion to reflect that connection. In addition, as a child, the spirit of the ocean chose her to be the steward of the heart of Te Fiti and even assists her on her quest to return it. The end of the film shows her placing a conch shell instead of a stone atop the "place of chiefs" on the mountain indicating her role as the one who restores her people's legacy as wayfinders and explorers and she personally leads them out into the ocean looking for new lands to settle.
  • 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.
  • Flowers of Romance: 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, depending on how it's placed note  — however, a romantic interest for Moana is never introduced or mentioned.
  • Garden Garment: At the end of the movie her new outfit consists of plants and leaves and other vegetation.
  • Guile Heroine: Becomes one over the course of her adventure. She extricates herself and Maui from the predicament with Tamatoa caused by Maui's Shapeshifting Failure 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 Heroine: 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 — 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: Subverted. Despite being The Chosen One, the ocean does not take it easy on Moana when she enters open waters and her lack of sailing skills becomes immediately apparent when she capsizes her boat in a storm. She has to earn those skills by learning from Maui, an actual wayfinder and an 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 does little to mitigate. This is 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 ends 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 has 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.
    • In a somewhat downplayed example, Sina tells Moana that Tui used to share her love of the ocean as well.
  • Made of Iron: Moana should be a broken pile by the end of the adventure in Lalotai after the physical abuse she endures. First she survives the plunge into Lalotai itself where she full-impact landed on Maui which sent her tumbling off the ledge. Then Tamatoa pinches her in his giant claws, attempts to pull her arms out, drops her from a height when he panic-freezes, and throws her into a cage. It's been noted that Moana's increased durability starts after Gramma Tala gives her the Heart of Te Fiti so it's likely that wearing the divine artifact has enhanced her physical constitution.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name means "ocean" in many Polynesian languages, including Hawaiian and Māori. Her name in the European dubs, Vaiana, means "water from the cave" in Tahitian.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Moana clearly has the physique of a young girl who engages in regular vigorous physical activity and many of the athletic feats shown in the film seem reasonable for her to accomplish. However, during many of the action set-pieces she does demonstrate a level of strength that seems beyond what her physique can provide, such as when she throws a spear so hard it hits a wooden mast and sticks deep enough in it for the line to support her entire weight, or when she smashes a Kakamora right into the deck, shattering several thick wooden planks.
  • 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.
  • One-Woman Army: She's 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 begins borderline antagonistic, they grow to become close friends. By the end, their friendship is commemorated by a new feature appearing on Maui's Storyboard Body featuring her as a Wayfinder.
    • 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.
  • Princess Protagonist: Moana is part of the official Disney Princess line. It's an unusual example in that she's technically not a princess, as she points out. Her community doesn't have a monarchy, but she is the daughter of the village chief and is expected to take on leadership roles. She also fits some Princess Classic tropes, especially Disney Princess ones, as Maui points out.
    Moana: Okay, first, I’m not a princess, I’m the daughter of the chief.
    Maui: If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess.
  • Pun: Moana calls Tamatoa "crabulous" when she is trying to distract him with flattery.
  • 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 is 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.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: In the end, Moana is seen wearing her voyager outfit, symbolizing the return of a lost part of her people's culture. The new outfit is made entirely out of plants and leaves; her top is made of bright, red leaves which symbolizes her role as the new Motonui chief; her belt is made of red Tapa with green leaves down the skirt made out of shredded Pandanus; her lei consists of red and green leaves along with white flowers; finally, on Moana's left arm and right ankle she wears a leaf cuff.
  • 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 chooses both.
  • Tomboy Princess: A downplayed example. The Chief's daughter is athletic, acrobatic and would prefer to sail the ocean and explore. At the same time, she also partakes in her culture's tribal dancing and is learning the skills to be a good chief under her father's tutelage.
  • 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 to 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 to 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 how she has trouble being the "perfect daughter" since her desire to travel on the seas is against the law, especially by her father.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Gives such a speech to Maui after he reveals his Dark and Troubled Past, telling him that his fish hook doesn't define him and reasoning that the Gods saved him because they saw something worth saving.

"It's actually Maui, shapeshifter, demigod of the wind and sea, hero of man."
Voiced by: Dwayne Johnson; Jess Harnell (Disney Dreamlight Valley), Ataria Firiapu (reo Tahiti, speaking), Steve Reea (reo Tahiti, singing); Piripi Taylor (te reo Māori); Christopher Kaipulaumakaniolono Baker (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi)
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: Although not actually fat, his frame is patterned after power-lifters, professional strongmen, and rugby players, giving him a stocky, bulky appearance. However, he is surprisingly agile, as shown in his haka when trying to impress Moana and his acrobatic landing after plummeting into Lalotai.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Downplayed. 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.
  • 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: In a way, Maui in Polynesian mythology (specifically in Maori) 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, and who is slightly bulkier than other men, which is in line with his depictions in Samoan and Hawaiian mythology. But the specific pronounication used for the movie is the Te Reo version, along with the choice of dubbing.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Zigzagged. 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, were accomplished by Maui's brothers and their strength, whereas in the film, it's all Maui and his brothers have 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.
  • 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: Initially Maui's features are portrayed as harsh, angular, and heavily shadowed, befitting his role as a trickster god who stole the heart of Te Fiti. As the movie unfolds and we learn of his sympathetic back-story along with Moana helping him regain his self-confidence, his features become softer and more rounded as he acts less self-absorbed. He reverts to his harsh look when he abandons Moana after his hook is damaged, but by the end, after his redeeming return to help battle Te Kā and his apology to Te Fiti, he looks positively boyish when he receives a new hook.
  • 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.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Maui fits the image of the long-haired and well-muscled warrior. Originally, Maui was going to be bald in homage to his voice actor, but the creators learned that in Polynesian culture, a warrior's mana or mystical strength is embodied in his hair. Longer hair meant more power and the character was redesigned to have wild, mid-back length hair as shown in the film.
  • 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 reasons that the Gods saved him because they saw something worth saving.
  • 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 Catchphrase: "CHEE-HOO!" It should be noted that this is actually a Hawaiian expression of excitement, Maui just uses it a lot.
  • Character Development: At first he believes he's nothing without his deity-created fish hook, and openly laments how useless he views himself as whenever the hook is unavailable. Through Moana, however, he slowly begins 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 discovers that Moana's words of wisdom are correct, and proves 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 Māori 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.
  • Create Your Own Villain: He's responsible for transforming Te Fiti into the violent lava demon Te Kā.
  • Cynical Mentor: He's 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.
  • Defiant to the End: His fish hook destroyed, standing on a mere spit of rock, and staring down a demon of fire and earth, Maui starts chanting the haka, a Polynesian war song, and accompanying dance, challenging Te Kā and buying Moana every second he can.
  • Deity of Human Origin: The gods turned him into a demigod after he was abandoned by his parents.
  • 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.
  • Eating Optional: Maui apparently does eat (or at least enjoy eating), as seen by the relish he displays at the idea of fattening up Heihei and cooking him. However, his demigod status allows him to spend a thousand years on a deserted island no visible food or water without losing an ounce of muscle from the experience.
  • 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: In the past, he was a renowned hero, but by Moana's time, all people remember is him stealing Te Fiti's heart and awakening the lava demon Te Ka. Tala even advises Moana to order him on her boat and drag him by the ear if necessary.
  • 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.
  • Glass Cannon: Basically becomes this by the time of the final battle with Te Kā, as his hook- the source of his power- was damaged in the previous battle, so that all it would take is one good hit to destroy it. Fortunately, Maui is fast and strong enough that he manages to hold Te Kā back for some time even with that particular weakness to take into account.
  • Heroic BSoD: 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.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: In-Universe. Humans have forgotten everything Maui did for them in ancient times and he is only remembered as the one who stole the heart from Te Fiti and doomed the world. Also, everyone assumes he took the heart for selfish reasons, when in fact he intended to give it as a gift to humanity and didn’t know taking it would create the spreading darkness.
  • Hooks and Crooks: His weapon 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.
  • Hypocritical Humor: This guy who sang "You're Welcome" a few scenes earlier later mocks Moana by saying that if she starts singing, he's going to vomit.
  • "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's 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.
  • 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 that she can't expect the Ocean to help out with everything and that 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 an incredibly selfish and arrogant narcissist, 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 "The Rock" Johnson, it's to be expected.
  • Loincloth: 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 lampshades quite a few Disney cliché 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.
  • 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.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: No matter how dismissive or uncaring he is towards Moana, he never displays outright anger towards her until his hook is damaged. She's quite visibly shaken as a result.
    Maui: [quietly] Without my hook, I am nothing.
    Moana: That's not true—
  • 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.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Although Maui has the appearance of a well-built young man, he was trapped on the island for a thousand years and that's not including all the many legendary "creation of the world" feats he performed prior to that.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The reason why the tattoo on his back of a baby being thrown into the ocean is so big? It could be because he felt completely dominated by the fact that he was unwanted by his Abusive Parents.
  • 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".
  • Semi-Divine: While Maui has many representations in Polynesian myth, this movie features him as a demigod. He was born to human parents who threw him into the sea, causing the gods to save him and grant him demi-godhood.
  • Shapeshifting Failure: When he gets his hook back, his shapeshifting is seriously out of whack, and he can't quite manage to achieve the form he wants. With Moana's help, he retrains himself and overcomes it.
  • Sigil Spam: Somewhere in the hide, skin, or feathers of each of his polymorph animal forms is a marking shaped like his magical 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 an 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.
  • Tranquil Fury: When he calls out Moana for not listening to his orders to turn back after their failed battle against Te Ka, he speaks in a calm but cold tone.
  • 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 scams Tamatoa in the realm of monsters.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Him swiping Te Fiti's heart caused the entire plot (and as turned the world's resident Creator Deity into the Fallen Heroine 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.
  • While You Were in Diapers: One of his boasts during "You're Welcome" points out that he was doing incredible feats while humanity was merely beginning to exist.
    Maui: Hey, what has two thumbs and pulled up the sky, when you were waddling yay high? THIS GUY!
  • 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
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 to as either such or "it". This is true to Pacific 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: The ocean is a character throughout the movie, behaving 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.
  • Just in Time: After Te Kā subdues Maui, she chucks a massive fireball at Moana's boat, only for the Ocean to directly interfere, rising its waters up and catching the fireball at the last second.
  • Nature Spirit: The ocean has a spirit, apparently, and it's accessible to the right people...
  • Quizzical Tilt: The ocean does this to demonstrate its sapiency, tilting a wave in a head-like manner at a young Moana when she encounters it.
  • 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. Case in point, during the final battle against Te Kā, it only interferes one time, and only because Moana would've been killed if it hadn't.

    Mini Maui
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.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: As part of his simplistic style, he has an exaggerated square jaw, compared to the actual Maui's rounder features.
  • 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.
  • Wink "Ding!": During "You're Welcome," he gives a wink to Moana with the "ding" being a part of the song's instrumentation.

"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 beside 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 one scene) leads to him diving for the heart in the climax, saving it from going overboard.
  • 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 Māori.
  • 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.
  • Fearless Fool: Doesn't register that the Kakamora are trying to kill him and repeatedly walks into the ocean with no hesitation. One could argue that this is because Heihei is so stupid that he never knows where he's going. He falls into the ocean so much that Moana and the ocean have to lock him up in the boat. In the end of the movie, Heihei almost walks into the ocean, but it picks him up and guides him to land.
  • 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 is so stupid that he usually causes more problems for Moana than he solves.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Heihei is the only chicken on the island with blue-green tail feathers.
  • Oh, Crap!: In a rare moment of lucidity, 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.
  • A Pig Named "Porkchop": Maui nicknames him "Drumstick", and makes no secret that he wants to eat him.
  • 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
"There comes a day when you're gonna look around and realize happiness is where you are."
Tui voiced by: Temuera Morrison (English, speaking; te reo Māori), Christopher Jackson (singing); Teiva 'Minos' Manoi (reo Tahiti, speaking), Matani Kainuku (reo Tahiti, singing); Kelikokauaikekai Hoe (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi)
Sina voiced by: Nicole Scherzinger (English and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi); Christiane Fougerouse (reo Tahiti, speaking), Vaiana Perez (reo Tahiti, singing); Amanda Ashton (te reo Māori)
Moana's parents and the chiefs of their island.
Tropes that apply to both:
  • 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 Guy: 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:

  • Anger Born of Worry:
    • 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. True, the ocean wasn’t going to hurt Moana, but Chief Tui had no way of knowing that.
    • 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. Afterward, 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.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: To Moana, forbidding her to sail on the ocean. Sina reveals to Moana that the reason why Tui worries about Moana going into the ocean is that 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.
  • 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.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: Implied to be one of the reasons he stringently forbids Moana from going to the ocean. He already lost his best friend and he wasn't going to lose his daughter also.
  • 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:

  • Flowers of Romance: Sina wears a pale pink flower on the left side of her head, signifying that she's married/in a relationship.
  • Mom Looks Like a Sister: Moana's mother doesn't visibly age much over the course of the movie, putting this trope into motion at the end.
  • Motherly Side Plait: She wears a loose waist-length ponytail over her left shoulder, fitting her role as the good mother of Moana.
  • Only Sane Woman: 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
"There is nowhere you could go that I won't be with you."
Voiced by: Rachel House (English and te reo Māori); Denise Raapoto (reo Tahiti); Tialynn Kalehua Kawa‘a (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi)
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 Heroine: 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 manta ray, her spirit animal, covering her entire upper back.
  • 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.
  • Mellow Mantas: Grandma Tala has manta rays as an Animal Motif (including a tattoo of one on her back), and while she's the self-admitted "village crazy lady", she's also a wise and gentle mentor towards her granddaughter Moana. After she dies later in the film, her spirit comes back as a manta ray and gives Moana some helpful advice when she needs it.
  • 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.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Discussed briefly.
    Moana: Why are you acting weird?
    Tala: I'm the village crazy lady. That's my job.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Grandmother Tala's ghost takes on the form of a spectral blue manta ray with markings resembling Tala's tattoo, leading Moana out into the ocean. When she returns during Moana's darkest hour she looks translucent but is not intangible. She and Moana can hug!
  • Reincarnated as a Non-Humanoid: 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, as her spirit becomes a manta ray and at end of the movie she's shown to have reincarnated as a flesh-and-blood ray bearing the markings of her 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.

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.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Pua understands the language spoken on Motunui, enough to guilt trip Moana for saying she enjoys pork. He also develops a fear of water after nearly drowning.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Perpetuates the Disney animal sidekick tradition. Downplayed, as he stays behind on Motunui rather than joining Moana on her journey.
  • A Pig Named "Porkchop": Pua's name is derived from the word "puaka", which refers to "pig" and "pork" in some Polynesian languages.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Just look at his eyes! Especially when Moana makes her ill-timed "That's good pork" comment leading to his "hurt puppy dog" face.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Pua can't swim and nearly drowns in the ocean at the beginning, but is luckily rescued by Moana. This experience was too dramatic for him though, and never went near the water again.


    The Kakamora
A tribe of crazy intense coconut-armoured pygmy pirates.
  • Adaptational Villainy: These characters have their roots in Hawaiian mythology. The Kakamora from Hawaiian folklore are harmless pranksters that rarely attack, while these guys are vicious pirates. They were originally going to be comedic characters, but were made into a more serious threat as the writers decided to raise the stakes.
  • 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.
  • Drums of War: They play huge drums when attacking the heroes. Moano later uses one of the drums as a springboard to escape.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Hawk-eyed viewers will notice that one of the Kakamora has Baymax's face painted on it.
  • 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. According to the creators, 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.
  • Lilliputian Warriors: They're fierce and ruthless pirates, despite being only a foot or so high.
  • 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: The creators say 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.
  • 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.

"Now I know I can be happy as a clam, because I'm beautiful, baby!"
Voiced by: Jemaine Clement (English and te reo Māori); Jacquot Tiatia (reo Tahiti, speaking), Heimana Flohr (reo Tahiti, singing); Kamakakēhau Fernandez (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi)
A giant, narcissistic monster crab who overcompensates for his shortcomings by adorning himself with treasures, wishing to be more than just a "bottom-feeder," though this does very little to conceal his ego.
  • 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 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 as he's playing guitar at one point during "Shiny". Similarly, he messes around with Moana by singing into the top of her head like a microphone - even turning away as if trying to prevent his inhaling getting picked up by the mic.
  • An Arm and a Leg: One of his legs is missing a part of it, thanks to a previous encounter with Maui.
  • Artistic License – 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.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: He's big enough to hold Moana between the tips of his claws. Even Maui looks tiny next to him.
  • Ax-Crazy: It doesn't take a genius to realize he's completely deranged.
  • 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."
    "You can try, try, try, but you can't expect a demigod to beat a decapod."
  • Beware the Silly Ones: His obsession with collecting glittery stuff comes across as ridiculous, and some of his initial lines to Moana are funny and even affable in places. But he's very evil and potent, as seen when he beats the crap out of Maui. Even more disturbing considering that Maui, Hook malfunctioning or not, is still a demi-god with super(natural)-strength, but even that is no match for Tamatoa.
  • 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 to Maui about Maui's dark and troubled past, with the purpose of psychologically breaking down Maui. note 
  • 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 psychopath.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Eldritch Location: He dwells in Lalotai, the fabled lair of monsters. Moana initially reacts with fear when Maui mentions it, implying she's been told stories about the place.
  • 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' Jemaine Clement?
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Moana distracts him by making a plain barnacle look like the Heart of Te Fiti. As he’s explaining what she’s done in excruciating detail, he immediately realizes she and Maui are escaping.
  • 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.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: He even sings a song about how awesome and beautiful he is while dishing out a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • 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. All that gold and jewelry made him too top-heavy.
  • Four-Legged Insect: Appears to be the case because he calls himself a "decapod" (which means "ten-legged" in Latin), but 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). Actually Subverted because he is based on a 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.
  • The Genie Knows Jack Nicholson: Since Tamatoa is a supernatural entity, his scenes are filled with conspicuous pop-culture anachronisms that would look weird coming from a normal human (he breaks the fourth wall, mentions things like the Vaudeville Hook, pretends to use Moana as a microphone, and alludes to The Little Mermaid.)
  • 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.
  • Hypocrite: During his Villain Song he mocks Maui for covering up his insecurities with his behavior, yet Shiny is Tamatoa doing the exact same thing.
  • 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...
  • Jerkass: He's an arrogant, self-absorbed narcissist that loves to boasts about himself and beats up his enemies out of spite.
  • 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 callous and sadistic 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.
  • Meaningful Name: "Tamatoa" is Maōri for "trophies".
  • Meta Guy: Tamatoa lampshades the fact that he's going to tell Moana all about how great he is "IN SONG FORM", directly mocks the Be Yourself message that Grandma Tala taught her, and breaks the fourth wall at least twice.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: He's a giant crab who ate his own grandma, who, according to him, was humongous.
  • Mood-Swinger: According to the creators, 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.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he first sees Maui wielding the fish hook, his initial reaction is to freeze in terrified anticipation of the beatdown he's expecting. But he is quick to regain his composure when he sees that Maui's having a Shapeshifting Failure.
  • Penny-Pinching Crab: Tamatoa decorates his shell with all sorts of gold and other treasures. In his Villain Song, "Shiny", Tamatoa sings about how he believes the "bling" on the outside is more important than what's on the inside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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 Sociopath: Downplayed as he is a supernatural monster, but he freely admits to having eaten his own grandmother and sadistically beats up Maui while singing and bragging about his narcissism.
  • Spectacular 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 layered on top of his singing 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
A demon made of earth and fire who is an ancient foe to Maui.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Has her 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 Te Kā's body after Moana realizes who she really is.
  • Big Bad: She was responsible for separating Maui from his fish hook during his initial theft of Te Fiti's heart, and she 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 of life.
  • The Comically Serious: Though she's mostly a humorless threat, her reactions to some of Maui's antics when he's distracting her from Moana are pretty amusing.
  • 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.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot: Te Kā is a destructive, rampaging behemoth of fire and lava. Subverted when it turns out she's not actually evil, just enraged and in pain from losing her heart.
  • Fallen Heroine: She 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.
  • Fireballs: Being made of lava, she can hurl massive fireballs.
  • Foil: To Maui. He is a demigod; she is a demon. His elements are Wind and Sea; hers are the exact opposites, Earth and Fire. After trying and failing to match her with brute force, in their final battle he fights with speed and guile against her far greater power, and does noticeably better (though he still loses). He loves humans and does his best to protect them, while she's an Eldritch Abomination who's got no apparent interest other than killing anything she lays eyes on.
  • 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 her.
  • Living Lava: She is a giant demon made of earth and fire.
  • Logical Weakness: Te Kā, being made out of lava, is unable to make contact with water without hardening into solid rock, forcing her to throw off the hardened parts and regrow them. Moana goads her into dipping her 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 her in a giant cetacean belly-flop.
  • Mad God: She is actually Te Fiti driven into a mad fury without her heart.
  • Magma Man: She'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.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name means "the burning one" in Māori.
  • Motive Misidentification: Tala's stories assume that Te Kā is 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.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Te Kā is played up as the film's Big Bad: a mindlessly raging lava demon who destroys anyone who comes near as a matter of course. As it turns out, she's actually the Mother Goddess Te Fiti, who's been lashing out in pain after the theft of her heart. Once Moana realizes this, she is able to "defeat" Te Kā not in battle, but by showing her empathy and kindness, which in turn calms the demon enough to let the heart be restored.
  • Orcus On Her 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 her.
  • Physical Goddess: Maui is scared to hell of her, and even at his full power, he can do little more than inconvenience her.
  • Supernatural Floating Hair: The billowing ash clouds coming from her head invoke this imagery.
  • Taken for Granite: Parts of her molten body cool and turn into stone upon contact with water. She breaks them off and regenerates new ones.
  • Throat Light: Her mouth glows since she'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.
  • The Unfought: Zigzagged. While Maui does fight her as he tries to buy Moana time to restore the Heart of Te Fiti, Moana herself never lays a finger on her—instead, she approaches Te Kā calmly, sings to her, and shows her kindness, which calms the demon's rage and allows the girl to put the Heart back.
  • Walking Spoiler: Her 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.


    Te Fiti
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. After her heart is restored, her response to Maui's "How've ya been?" makes it clear that she was aware of what was going on the whole time.
  • Big Good: As the Goddess of Life, she's the kindest and most benevolent character in the story, and once her heart is returned, works to undo the darkness unleashed upon the world thus restoring life to Moana's island. 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.
  • Fertile Feet: A slight variant, but Te Fiti can cause flowers to sprout just by touching or waving her hands over the ground.
  • Flowers of Nature: She is a Mother Goddess who is responsible for creating and nurturing the Pacific Islands. When Te Ka is turned back into Te Fiti, this is symbolized by plant life and flowers growing along her body. She finally appears as a giant woman covered in plants and flowers, particularly along the crown of her head, and can cause flowers to grow with a wave of her hand.
  • 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 Means Natural: Te Fiti is the goddess of life who created many islands full of plants, animals, and humans. She can also make flowers appear with her own hands. Her entire body (save for some pink and red flowers in her hair) is green and resembles a topiary hedge formed in the shape of a woman.
  • 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.
  • Silent Snarker: While she's mostly a kind character, Te Fiti briefly falls into this trope when she sees Maui again. Her supremely unimpressed look at his excuses gets across exactly what she's feeling without her having to open her mouth at all.
  • 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.