Vaiana/Moana: the real life edition

Aug 31 2017 Published by under Decisions

The other day I watched the 2016 Disney movie "Vaiana*" with my two sons. We all really liked it and I think my kids have watched it about five times since we watched it together. For those three people who haven't seen it or heard about it: it's a Polynesian inspired movie about the daughter of an island chief who gets chosen by the ocean to find the half god Maui and save the islands.

However, around two thirds into the movie, Vaiana realizes that it is a very difficult task and at some point she talks to the ghost of her grandmother who inspired her to go on this quest and says that it is just too hard. At that point, I thought how funny and awesome at the same time it would be if the movie would just end there. The lesson would be that sometimes, you find yourself on a very difficult journey, in the presence of a narcissistic half god (wait, is this a metaphor for some academic labs?!) and you realize that it is just too hard. And that it is fine to realize this and decide you're going to do something else. You've learned things on the journey that have made you stronger and more experienced, but at the same time you realize that this journey is not for you. Wouldn't it be good for kids to learn that there is no shame in deciding to give up sometimes?

But of course, this is a Disney film and not real life. So I guess I'm not really spoiling anything by telling that it does not actually stop there.

 

* when writing this post I found out that the movie is actually called Moana in English speaking countries and Vaiana in some (?) European countries.

One response so far

  • potnia theron says:

    I too love this movie. My lab loves this movie. I am at the stage where I love the Grandmother. We all need myths of achievement and overcoming obstacles to keep us going. Wrapped up in catchy tunes? What's not to love?

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