Moana is packed with Disney and movie eastereggs from Big Hero 6 to Zootopia, Frozen and The Little Mermaid all the way through toMad Max: Fury Road.
Yippee ki-yay movie lovers, it’s Jan here,and in this video I’m going to explain all the easter eggs, hidden mickeys, in-jokesand movie references I found in Moana.
Just before I start, I’ve got a very coolgiveaway for this awesome The Art of Moana hardback book which features beautiful conceptart from the movie and fascinating details about the making of the film.
For a chance to win, just subscribe and leavea comment about the easter eggs on this video or let me know about any other easter eggsyou spotted.
And as an extra thank-you to you for watchingthis video, there’s also some bonus ways to enter the giveaway via the Gleam link in thevideo description below! Ok, quick warning: there are spoilers aheadfor the movie, so if you want to avoid those, you check out my spoiler-free review of Moanaright here.
Moana directors Ron Clements and John Muskerare veteran Disney creators and there are a bunch of easter eggs to their previous filmsat Disney in Moana.
Let’s start with The Little Mermaid becausethere’s some hidden symbolism in the locket which Gramma Tala gives Moana that containsthe Heart of Te Fiti.
The heart and the locket call back to Ursula’senchanted necklace which held Ariel’s voice captive and just as The Little Mermaid’s storyis only resolved when Ariel’s voice is restored to her, so too Moana resolves her story byrestoring the Heart to Te Kā at the end of the movie.
The circular swirl of the shell on Ursula’snecklace is also reflected in the circular swirly symbolism scattered throughout Moanasuch as on the gem itself, the ship sails, the rock that Maui prised the Heart of TeFiti from, and the circular sand pattern when the gem first reveals itself to Moana.
When Maui traps Moana in a cave with a hugestatue of himself at the end of his song “You’re Welcome”, it’s a nod to the statue of PrinceEric that Ariel kept in her cave.
Later when Maui’s statue topples over as Moanauses it to climb out of the cave, a broken piece from Maui’s face, his nose, in fact,bounces up into the screen, which is a little hat tip to both the broken piece of Eric’sstatue that was used to win Ariel over for Ursula, and to the moment in Aladdin whenJasmine and Aladdin fly by the pyramids on the magic carpet and disturb one of the sculptorswho chips off the nose of an enormous sphinx statue.
And, by the way, there’s a neat parallel betweenAriel and Moana in that both their fathers want them to stay within the limits of theirworlds: King Triton doesn’t want Ariel to go ashore and Chief Tui won’t allow Moanabeyond the reef.
And Moana‘s story is like Ariel’s in reverseas Moana longs to leave the land for the sea, while Ariel longs to leave the sea for theland.
Plus, there’s a nice nod to Ariel’s hair flowerin the pink flower Moana wears in her hair.
And in the movie’s end credits scene, there’sa brilliant shout-out to the crab Sebastian from The Little Mermaid as well as a dig athis accent.
In the scene, Tamatoa appears and he’s stillstuck upside down on his back.
He pokes fun at himself and his “Shiny” songand then says to the audience, “Still upside down here! Just need a little push!”, before pausingand then adding, “Can we be real? If my name was Sebastian and I had a coolJamaican accent, you’d totally help me! You would, you know you would!” Moana‘s directors have also confirmed thatAriel’s sidekick, Flounder, appears in Moana and I think I spotted him among the fish whichappear during the 2D animation section of Maui’s “You’re Welcome” song.
As you can expect, there are some nice Frozeneaster eggs in the film, so make sure you pay attention in Tamatoa’s lair after Mauirecovers his fishhook as the demi-god has difficulty shapeshifting and accidentallyswitches into a number of different animals, and one of them, which flashes by, is noneother than Kristoff’s reindeer, Sven.
Clements and Musker also directed Aladdin,and Maui’s rapid shapeshifting into different creatures in this scene tips its hat to theGenie’s fast and humorous transformations as well as the various quick and funny transformationsthat Aladdin’s monkey Abu goes through.
And when Moana wakes up on Maui’s island afterbeing ship-wrecked, her hair is all messed up and full of sand, which is a nod to whenAnna woke up with big messed-up hair in Frozen.
As I’m sure you remember, snowman Olaf actuallyloves summer and likes to imagine himself sunbathing on the beach.
Now, we don’t actually see him soaking upthe sun in Moana, as you can imagine what would happen to him if he did that, but Moana‘sdirectors have said that he is hidden in the film, so keep your eyes peeled for what wouldbe left of a snowman if he went in the sun, for example, his carrot nose.
And Moana screenwriter, Jared Bush, pokesa bit of fun at the idea of Disney princesses when Moana states that she is not a princess,but Maui replies that, “If you wear a dress and you have an animal sidekick, you’re aprincess.
” Moana‘s directors are also behind Disney’s1997 animated feature, Hercules, so it’s intriguing that Maui’s backstory is a reverse of Hercules’backstory.
Maui was a mortal who was abandoned by hishuman parents and taken in by gods who made him a demi-god.
But Hercules, however, had gods as parentsbut ended up being raised by humans after he was abandoned on earth by Hades’ minions.
And, in a nice bit of coincidence, Dwayne”The Rock” Johnson, who’s the voice of Maui, also played the role of Hercules in the 2014live-action movie of the same name.
The funny line where Maui interrupts Moanaas she’s addressing him as “Maui, shapeshifter, demi-god of the wind and sea” and he tellsher that she needs to add “Hero of Men… and Women” to her list of epithets for himcould be a nod to the moniker of “The People’s Champion” that Dwayne Johnson took on duringhis wrestling days.
Mini-Maui, who’s Maui’s tattoo sidekick andacts as the demi-god’s conscience, brings to mind the character of Jiminy Cricket, whowas the conscience of Pinocchio in Disney’s famous film from 1940.
There’s an amusing pop culture reference toTwitter when Maui grabs Heihei and uses his beak to sign Moana‘s oar saying that, “Whenyou use a bird to write with, it’s called tweeting.
” And when Moana lands on top of Maui as theyjump into the Realm of Monsters, it’s an interesting call-back with a twist to The Princess AndThe Frog, which was made by Moana directors Clements and Musker.
In this film, Maui lands first and thinkshe’s all OK, but then Moana comes crashing down on top of him.
And in The Princess And The Frog, Tiana andNaveen are suspended in air by some balloons which burst sending Tiana crashing down first.
She’s caught by a spider’s web and thinksshe’s safe, until Naveen comes crashing down on top of her.
And it’s in Lalotai where we’re introducedto Tamatoa, the huge self-absorbed crab who likes to collect and adorn himself with hundredsof shiny objects.
The character is reminiscent of The Collectorin Marvel’s movies, who’s portrayed by Benecio del Toro, and, like Tamatoa, is a shady characterwho likes to collect special objects.
There’s also a hint of The Hobbit’s dragonSmaug, specifically Peter Jackson’s film The Desolation of Smaug, about Tamatoa in theway they both cover themselves in the hordes of treasure they’ve amassed in their lairdeep within a mountain, and in the way that, at first, both Bilbo Baggins and Moana don’teven realise they’re walking on top of Smaug and Tamatoa until the creatures emerge fromunderneath their treasure.
Tamatoa’s fantastic song “Shiny” is heavilyinfluenced by David Bowie, and Jemaine Clement, who voices the enormous crab, actually playedDavid Bowie in an episode of his TV comedy series Flight of the Conchords.
As Tamatoa raises himself up in his lair,a number of shiny artefacts that he’s been collecting fall off him and one of them lookssuspiciously like a rocket, which could be a nod to Disney’s 1991 adventure movie, TheRocketeer, which they’re currently developing a sequel to.
The monsters that we see glimpses of in Lalotaioriginate from Polynesian legends of Maui.
For example, there’s an eight-eyed bat whoMaui once killed when the bat tried to steal Maui’s wife Kumu-lama.
And there was a giant eel which representsthe eel god Tuna-roa, which Maui has killed in various legends.
The Kakamora sequence is a cross between Gremlinsand Mad Max: Fury Road.
In fact, the directors have said they specificallywanted to pay homage to director George Miller and his critically acclaimed Mad Max sequel.
And there’s a moment when Moana lands on thedeck of one of the Kakamora boats and they all suddenly turn and face her.
Well, hidden among the Kakamora is a verycrafty easter egg to the lovable robot Baymax from Big Hero 6.
Moana directors Ron Clements and John Muskerhave cameo’d in many of their previous Disney films, and it looks like they might be hiddenamong the Kakamora too.
If you stay through the whole credits, you’llnot only get to see the awesome Tamatoa post-credits scene, but you’ll also get to see a visualshoutout to Disney’s next animated feature, Wreck-It Ralph 2.
Just make sure you watch the little tapestriesthat scroll by during the credits as there’s a Wreck-It Ralph picture in one them, on theright-hand side of the screen, right towards the end of the movie.
And given that there were a number of Moanaeaster eggs in Zootopia, it’s hardly surprising to find an easter egg to Disney’s last animatedhit in Moana, especially since the two films were written by Jared Bush.
Remember in Zootopia there was a very funnyMoana easter egg via the Meowana bootlegged Blu-ray that Weaselton was selling on hisstall.
And there was also an easter egg to Maui’sfishhook on the back of Finnick’s van.
Well, the Zootopia easter egg in Moana takesthe form of the slow-talking, fast-driving sloth, Flash.
Moana‘s directors have said that Flash appearsin disguise which makes this creature here, who appears in the Realm of Monsters sequence,a very good candidate to be Flash.
Notice he’s got four claws, like Flash’s,on each limb.
When the ocean first reaches out to Moanaas a sentient character in the movie, it’s reminiscent of the alien water tentacle fromJames Cameron’s 1989 sci-fi movie The Abyss.
And the ocean also has a sense of Aladdin’smagic carpet about it, in that it’s a non-speaking character that helps out Moana and guidesher forward in her quest.
There’s a nod to Pixar’s Crush and Squirtin the scenes with toddler Moana when she’s on the beach and helps a baby turtle likeSquirt across the sand safely to the water; and the baby turtle also swims by later witha much larger turtle, who’s similar to Crush from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory.
And that lovely moment when toddler Moanagently takes a leaf and uses it to shield the baby turtle to help it to the sea is alsoa little easter egg to the photo of Stitch doing the same during the credits of Lilo& Stitch.
And there’s another hat tip to Lilo & Stitchwhen Moana gets embarrassed about eating pork in front of her pet pig Pua, which calls tomind Lilo explaining why she couldn’t feed a tuna sandwich to her pet fish Pudge.
There’s also a recurring in-joke about eatingHeihei, for example, one of the villagers wants to cook him as he thinks the roosteris too stupid to survive, which is a reference to the fact that Heihei was almost scrappedfrom Moana as the filmmakers were struggling to make the character work in the story.
In fact, the day they figured out how to keepHeihei in the movie, they all celebrated with a meal of fried chicken, which means thatMoana eating pork in front of Pua is also another in-joke about this! After Te Fiti’s heart is returned, there’sa sequence where the mother island is restored to life and in these shots of the island’svegetation, there’s what looks like the magical golden flower from Tangled.
Which seems very appropriate as the magicalflower is associated with healing and life.
The character of Gramma Tala, whose spiritbecomes a ray in the ocean, is analogous to Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas in that sheserves as a voice of wisdom and as someone who can guide the young heroine of the story.
And Gramma Tala’s question to Moana “is theresomething you want to hear?”, which basically means that Moana already knows her heritageand what she should do, is an echo of Willow’s advice to Pocahontas to listen to the spiritsand Willow’s words that ‘you know your path, child, now follow it.
‘ By the way, there’s a nod back to the brilliantshort Inner Workings which plays before Moana when Moana yells at the ocean that “Fish peein you all day”, and also when she thinks she’s found a warm current in the sea, butit’s actually because Maui’s just pee’d in it.
If you remember, in Inner Workings, there’sa funny moment when the main character Paul runs into the sea and we see his bladder givea big smile and sigh, a cheeky joke about Paul peeing in the sea.
There is a nice Hidden Mickey that you cansee just briefly in the scene which introduces us to Tamatoa and his lair.
There are 3 pearls positioned on the sandjust below Tamatoa that look like the classic Mickey Mouse silhouette.
You can also see a similar Mickey on the characterposter for Tamatoa in the positioning of 3 pearls in a canoe to the right of Tamatoa.
And there seem to be a few hidden mickeyssnuck in to the Kakamora scenes.
They’re a little difficult to spot among allthe action going on during their attack, but here are a few (possible) ones I spotted.
In this shot, there seems to be a pair ofhidden Mickeys in the barrels or drums stacked up on one of the Kakamora boats.
Each mickey has two Kakamora standing on topof what would be the ears in the mickey.
And the way these coconuts are stacked alsolook like another hidden mickey.
I’m sure there are more hidden secrets tuckedaway in these manically busy Kakamora scenes that we’ll have to wait for the Blu-ray tospot! Now, I’d love to know what other easter eggsand references you spotted that I missed! And how does Moana compare with your otherfavourite Disney movies? Let me know in the comments below! Don’t forget to subscribe and comment foryour chance to win this gorgeous The Art of Moana hardback book.
If you enjoy finding easter eggs in Disneymovies, check out my Zootopia easter eggs video.
And, I’ve got more Moana videos for you includingmy review, my top 5 moments, and amazing facts about the making of the movie! Click or tap on either of the links here tocheck those out.