Moana and the Temptation of Good Advice 

One of my favorite things about that song (and about Moana in general) is that the temptation she has to overcome to save her people and fulfill her destiny is good advice.

I mean,  what advice could be better than “you can find happiness right whet you are?” 

Don’t most of us get into trouble when we forget that? Isn’t that a great corrective to our consumerism, our fear of missing out, our endless anxious status- seeking? 

And it was good advice for everyone on the island except Moana. She had a vocation,  a literal divine calling,  and to fulfill out,  she had to walk away.

Sometimes we have to do that, to turn away from good advice in order to do what’s most important. 

But most of the time I should be listening to the good advice around me. 

The Brilliance of Moana’s “Shiny”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93lrosBEW-Q

In one scene, Disney accomplishes so much:

  1. A fun and catchy song

  2. A memorable (if minor) villain

  3. A great action sequence with brilliant visuals

  4. A great reminder/introduction to just how vast the supernatural world is: Tamatoa is bigger than any house Moana has seen,  and he lives in a giant clamshell

  5. Tamatoa’s expression of terror when Maui takes hold of his hook for the first time shows just how powerful and feared Maui was back in the day. It proves that “You’re Welcome” wasn’t just puffery and showing off.

  6. Setup for an ongoing difficulty/twist: Maui’s inability to use his hook’s powers like he used to, and his sense that without his hook, he’s nothing.

  7. The sense that Maui isn’t the only one who thinks he’s nothing without his hook: Tamatoa agrees.

  8. Demonstration of Moana’s fear when faced with the supernatural world, then her courage to recover, and her resourcefulness to trick Tamatoa

  9. Revelation the Maui was abandoned at some point, feels alone, and does great deeds for humans mostly to feel wanted and accepted

  10. Moana saves Maui, which elevates her to his level, and puts them on more equal footing.

All in less than four minutes.

As they say on Firefly, “Shiny.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFpgtYJLVW4

Wanna see something else shiny?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knlw6kFP_RU