Moana is a 2016 3D computer animated, musical adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 56th film in the Disney animated feature canon. Originally described as a "mythic adventure set around 2000 years ago and across a series of islands in the South Pacific", the film follows the journey of a spirited teenager named Moana as she embarks on a quest across the Pacific Ocean to save her people.
Te Fiti, an island goddess, created all life and became an island. Te Fiti's heart, a small pounamu stone, was stolen by the demigod Maui only for him to encounter the lava monster Te Kā, which caused his fishhook and the heart to disappear into the ocean. Because of the heart being stolen, the islands Te Fiti created are cursed.
A millennium later, Moana Waialiki as a toddler discovers the heart as she is collecting shells near the ocean. After her chieftain father Tui orders her to return to the village, she never sees it until she has grown up. Moana, now a teenager, has the responsibility of becoming the next Chief of the island as her father insists, but due to the close friendship of her Grandmother Gramma Tala, keeps her dream of leaving the island alive. She soon discovers that all the fish have disappeared from the shores of the village, and the coconuts spoiled. Moana insists on going beyond the reef to catch more, but her father dismays her request, angered by her wishes. Her mother Sina confesses that her father acts like this because of the loss of his closest friend when they went sailing to unforgiving waters one night in his youth.
Gramma Tala finds Moana on the beach after she tries to sail past the reef only to become shipwrecked back home, and shows Moana a secret cave hidden behind a waterfall. Inside are the sailboats that her ancestors stowed away. By banging the drum, she discovers they were voyagers. Tala then gives Moana the heart of Te Fiti after showing her the curse draining life away from trees and the island itself, saying that it is the only way to save her people. She goes to her father and tells him of what Tala told her, but he doesn't listen and sees it as another excuse for her to leave the island.
Later, Tala is seen ill and is found dying on her deathbed. With her dying breath, she tells Moana to go save her people and gives her the necklace used to carry the heart. Moana departs using one of the sailboats found in the cave and departs with Heihei, a dumb rooster who has accidentally stowed away on the sailboat. She seeks to find Maui by following a constellation that looks like his fishhook, but a wave flips her sailboat and knocks her unconscious. She wakes up the next morning on a small island inhabited by Maui, who traps Moana in a cave after distracting her with a tune. He steals her sailboat while threatening to eat Heihei. After escaping the cave, the ocean sends Moana back on the sailboat to convince Maui. She shows him the heart and asks him to help her return it, but Maui backs away fearing that the heart is a trap for the person carrying it and that other creatures would kill to steal it for themselves.
Immediately after Heihei eats the heart during an encounter with little pygmy pirates known as Kakamora, the Kakamora steal Heihei forcing Moana to retrieve it after Maui learns of her inability to sail when they try to escape. After Moana retrieves Heihei from the Kakamora, Maui is able to get their massive sailboats to collide into each other and the three make it out unharmed. Maui agrees to help bring the heart back to Te Fiti. In order to do so, he needs his hook which is hidden in the Realm of Monsters, held by a giant villainous coconut crab named Tamatoa. In his lair, Maui barely retrieves the hook while Moana distracts Tamatoa by having him sing about himself. Afterward, Maui and Moana escape his lair and Tamatoa is left stranded on his back in a last ditch effort to grab them both. Back on the sailboat, Maui becomes depressed that he is unable to shapeshift into anything that he wants with the fish hook but ultimately decides to teach Moana how to sail instead, after the ocean numbs his derriere with a blow dart.
She learns that Maui has stolen the heart for a village that he has looked after once he was given his powers from the gods. Through some encouragement from Moana, Maui is given the strength to shape shift with ease, even managing to turn into a hawk. The two become friends as she learns more on how to be a wayfinder. They arrive at Te Fiti where Te Kā appears and tries to destroy them. Maui tries to fight back but instead tells Moana to turn back. She ignores his protest, which brings Te Kā to partially destroy Maui's hook, severely damaging it and sending them far back across the ocean. Out of anger, Maui leaves Moana stranded, fearing that going back to fight Te Kā will permanently destroy his hook. He flies away after telling her that the ocean chose the wrong person to save her people which is something she has been trying to find out why.
After sadly telling the ocean to bring the heart to someone else, Gramma Tala appears as a spiritual manta ray and encourages her to find out who she is based on what she has learned, what she has lived through, who she has met, and where she comes from. Moana proudly realizes who she has meant to be within herself and what defines her, and swims down to retrieve the heart. Using her wayfinding skills, she returns to Te Kā and manages to get past Te Kā to return the heart. Maui returns as well having a change of heart to distract Te Kā. Moana, reaching the top of the mountain, realizes that the island is gone and that Te Kā is actually Te Fiti without her heart. She asks the ocean to clear a path so that she can have Te Kā approach her. She connects with Te Fiti and opens her eyes to show her what she has become. Te Fiti calms down and lets Moana restore her heart which brings everything including herself back to normal.
Te Fiti, now fully restored and the curse lifted, believes that Maui is left to apologize for his actions, which he does. Maui in return is granted a new hook and flies off to meet with his villagers. Before leaving, Maui bids Moana farewell with a hug, thanking her for all she's done.
Moana then returns to her island, where everything is back to normal and the villagers return to wayfinding, releasing the boats from the hidden cave. As the new chief, Moana places her stone (a seashell she collected when she was little) on the tallest mountain where many chiefs placed stones to claim their leadership and sets sail with the rest of the villagers in search of new islands as Maui accompanies them in his falcon form.
In a post-credits scene, Tamatoa is still left on his back and wondering if people would care more for him if he was a Jamaican crab named Sebastian.
- Auli'i Cravalho as Moana Waialiki
- Louise Bush as the singing voice of young Moana.
- Dwayne Johnson as Maui
- Rachel House as Gramma Tala
- Temuera Morrison as Tui
- Christopher Jackson as the singing voice of Tui.
- Jemaine Clement as Tamatoa
- Nicole Scherzinger as Sina
- Alan Tudyk as Heihei
- Alan Tudyk also voices Villager #3