Moana Movie Facts

43 of the most interesting Moana facts you didn't know about. Handpicked and verified, these little-known details can be obscure enough most people will miss. These behind the scene easter eggs and hidden messages will give you another view of Moana movie message.

Her grandma says their people stopped exploring after Maui stole the heart of Ta Fiti and boats stopped coming back, about 1,000 years before. This depicts an actual historical event in Polynesian history known as "The Long Pause". The reason for the pause is actually unknown.
Her grandma says their people stopped exploring after Maui stole the heart of Ta Fiti and boats stopped coming back, about 1,000 years before. This depicts an actual historical event in Polynesian history known as "The Long Pause". The reason for the pause is actually unknown.
Maui says: "the ocean doesn't help you, you help yourself". An example of this can be seen in a prior scene when Moana is given the choice to remain in safety on Maui's island but instead chooses to swim after Maui. The ocean only ever helps Moana after she's tried to help herself.
Maui says: "the ocean doesn't help you, you help yourself". An example of this can be seen in a prior scene when Moana is given the choice to remain in safety on Maui's island but instead chooses to swim after Maui. The ocean only ever helps Moana after she's tried to help herself.

Moana Movie Trivia Facts

These trivia from Reddit and other sources can be used as questions with answers in quizzes or games.

  1. The sacred place has 15 stones of past chiefs, if given the average life expectancy was around 65, then that would be ~1000 years they've been on the island, which is how long ago that Maui stole the Heart of Te Fiti and when the ancient chiefs first forbid voyaging.

  2. Tamatoa sings that "You can't expect a demigod to beat a decapod. Look it up." Decapods are ten-legged crustaceans, but it can be seen that Tamatoa only has eight legs. He wasn't wrong about calling himself a decapod, however.

Moana Easter Eggs

Hidden objects, characters, easter eggs, and their meanings are wonderful ways to discover the filmmaker's perspectives of any given movie.

  • 1 - The carpet from the song "How Far I'll Go" in the movie Moana (2016), is a replica of Aladdin's magic carpet from Aladdin (1992)
    The carpet from the song "How Far I'll Go" in the movie Moana (2016), is a replica of Aladdin's magic carpet from Aladdin (1992)
  • 1 - One of the monsters depicted on a tapestry is Marshmellow, the snow monster, from Frozen (2013).
    One of the monsters depicted on a tapestry is Marshmellow, the snow monster, from Frozen (2013).
  • 1 - Maui has a necklace of teeth around his neck, including a large shark tooth that is the right size and shape to have come from a megalodon, an extinct species of giant shark that were up to 59 ft long
    Maui has a necklace of teeth around his neck, including a large shark tooth that is the right size and shape to have come from a megalodon, an extinct species of giant shark that were up to 59 ft long
  • Olaf's carrot nose and stick hand can be seen briefly as Moana packs for her voyage.

  • Leads turtles to saftey the same way Stitch does in the credits of Lilo and Stitch(2002)

  • 1 - Disney included a scene where Maui's weapon, which allowed him to take to form of different animals, was malfunctioning. Attempting to change into a hawk, he switched himself into many characters, one of them being Sven from Frozen (2013)
    Disney included a scene where Maui's weapon, which allowed him to take to form of different animals, was malfunctioning. Attempting to change into a hawk, he switched himself into many characters, one of them being Sven from Frozen (2013)
  • 1 - After Maui and Moana evade Tamatoa, "Sharkhead Maui" has a Sharkhead tattoo on his torso.
    After Maui and Moana evade Tamatoa, "Sharkhead Maui" has a Sharkhead tattoo on his torso.
  • 1 - If you look closely, the bucket of food has Olaf's [Frozen (2013)] nose in it. Right next to the bucket you can see his arms
    If you look closely, the bucket of food has Olaf's [Frozen (2013)] nose in it. Right next to the bucket you can see his arms
  • Flounder makes appearance in Moana (2016)

Moana Hidden Facts

Moana saves a baby turtle who shares a striking similarity with Crush from Finding Nemo (notice the barrel roll)

1 - When Maui botches a shapeshift after recovering his hook, he turns into a half-man / half-shark. The tattoo on his chest, which change to depict his deeds, also updates to this hybrid - even mimicking his despondent expression.
When Maui botches a shapeshift after recovering his hook, he turns into a half-man / half-shark. The tattoo on his chest, which change to depict his deeds, also updates to this hybrid - even mimicking his despondent expression.

A rainbow is visible in the sea spray from the first boat in Moana's cave vision.

1 - The protagonist tries several times to set sail with the pig as her companion, failing each time. After the final failure, her grandmother tells her, "Whatever happened, blame it on the pig". The next time she sets sail, she sets sail with the chicken and her journey succeeds.
The protagonist tries several times to set sail with the pig as her companion, failing each time. After the final failure, her grandmother tells her, "Whatever happened, blame it on the pig". The next time she sets sail, she sets sail with the chicken and her journey succeeds.

The villain Tamatoa sings a song (Shiny) that is clearly inspired by David Bowie. The animators also made his pupils two different sizes as an homage to the late glam rocker

Maui signs her oar with a glyph of his fishhook. This is because at this time, Polynesian cultures did not have an alphabet-based writing system and wouldn't develop one until after contact with Europeans in the 19th century.

1 - Shark head Maui's mini Maui also has a shark head.
Shark head Maui's mini Maui also has a shark head.

Whenever she sings a very long and loud note there is what is called Vibrato used by the performer. If you look closely at Moana's lower lip you'll see the vibrato was added. Not seen in most other animated musicals.

1 - You can see that part of his Hawk-form feather patterns resemble his magical Hook.
You can see that part of his Hawk-form feather patterns resemble his magical Hook.

When she enters the Realm of Monsters, Godzilla makes a brief cameo. Credit goes to my daughter who asked me, "who is that?"

1 - The reindeer Sven (Frozen) makes an appearance as Maui struggles to control his shapeshifting ability
The reindeer Sven (Frozen) makes an appearance as Maui struggles to control his shapeshifting ability
1 - Maui's tattoos tell stories of what he's been through as they happen. Maui can be seen with the tattoo of him being defeated by Te Ka in the storytelling before the event happen
Maui's tattoos tell stories of what he's been through as they happen. Maui can be seen with the tattoo of him being defeated by Te Ka in the storytelling before the event happen
1 - When Maui's hook doesn't work, he briefly turns into Sven, the moose from Frozen (2013)
When Maui's hook doesn't work, he briefly turns into Sven, the moose from Frozen (2013)

The Kakamora uses Hei Hei's neck and beak like a mountaineering axe, to quickly climb the mast.

1 - Maui briefly shapeshifts into Sven from Frozen.
Maui briefly shapeshifts into Sven from Frozen.
1 - When her mother helps her get to sea, the top of her supply bag resembles a turtle. Similar to the turtle that was also helped to sea.
When her mother helps her get to sea, the top of her supply bag resembles a turtle. Similar to the turtle that was also helped to sea.

A quick moment shows a tapestry depicting one tall and one stocky man. This is an eater egg honoring the film's two directors, Ron Clements and John Musker. Reposting in adherence with rule 10.

1 - When singing We Know the Way in Moana (2016), the characters stop singing along with the song when the lyrics change from Samoan to English.
When singing We Know the Way in Moana (2016), the characters stop singing along with the song when the lyrics change from Samoan to English.

You can hear in the soundtrack some notes reminiscent of Mad Max: Fury Road. A nice recall, since the director himself admitted that the scene was a tribute to George Miller's film.

When baby Moana is lured to the ocean by the seashells, the symbol for the Heart of Tafiti appears under each seashell

You can see Maui desperately paddling the canoe with his hand since Moana took the oar with her to retrieve the chicken.

The Heart reflects/twinkles in Maui's eyes when Moana shows it to him.

1 - During the song "Where You Are", Moana's dad sings "in time you'll learn just as I did", foreshadowing his backstory before it's told.
During the song "Where You Are", Moana's dad sings "in time you'll learn just as I did", foreshadowing his backstory before it's told.
1 - They use a banana for scale to show the difference in size between Moana and Maui.
They use a banana for scale to show the difference in size between Moana and Maui.
1 - The rope trick Moana used to pick up speed to cross the reef was not learnt from Maui but from when her ancestors sailed past.
The rope trick Moana used to pick up speed to cross the reef was not learnt from Maui but from when her ancestors sailed past.
1 - Maui gives Moana his Oartograph
Maui gives Moana his Oartograph

During the song "You're Welcome" you can briefly see Maui's fight with Tamatoa in his tattoos.

1 - The hardened lava ages, cracks, and fades with the passage of time in the song "where you are"
The hardened lava ages, cracks, and fades with the passage of time in the song "where you are"

When Maui finally found his Hook, it transformed him to random form as he forgot who to use it again. One of the random formation is Sven from Frozen.

Moana poster
Moana poster

Moana Plot

In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches Moana's island, she answers the Ocean's call to seek out the Demigod to set things right.

Cast and Details

Here are the full cast and crew of Moana. The goofs, crazy credits, and trivia they have performed may have not taken your attention. Some are hidden for a reason, while others randomly forgotten.

Genre Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Director Ron Clements
Production Walt Disney Pictures
Stars Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison
IMDB score 7.6