In case you haven't heard, Disney is bringing their first Polynesian princess to their cinematic fold. Disney's Moana has been in the works for a while now, spawning all kinds of fan art and buzz from fans who are dying to see the latest way that Disney is going to diversify their line-up. No one can agree on what Moana looks like just yet, but they can at least agree that they're excited. Now we have a brand new reason to get excited and a potential one to be disappointed. Disney has given Moana a Fall 2016 release date, two years earlier than their original tentative date of 2018, and they've released a first look at concept art from the movie, which might let some people down.
The concept art shows gorgeous water and a beautiful, misty island that Moana and a second person, presumably the demi-god Maui, are sailing toward. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the official summary of the film is now as follows:
Set in the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, the story follows Moana, a born navigator, who sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.
I know, I know, I know. It's so rare that Disney actually makes any efforts to diversify that I should celebrate it when they do make an effort and stop pushing for more. I just can't help it. I want all different kinds of Disney princesses and I want them now. One of my biggest wishes for Moana was the hope that she would be the first Disney princess who wasn't a size two. Instead of the slender, cookie-cutter shape that Disney gives all of its princesses, I wanted to see Moana as an average-figured girl who is all about that bass, as they say. I wanted to see a Moana that, you know, looked like a real woman as opposed to Disney's impossibly-thin standards that not even size two's can achieve.
Instead, from the looks of this concept art, Moana is just as unbelievably thin as every Disney princess that came before her. She doesn't even appear to have the robust arm muscle that piloting a ship like the one she's sailing in the concept art would give you after a while. Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe that's Maui and the fuller-figured person sitting on the boat is Moana. I don't think it's very likely, but I have my fingers crossed that Disney's just messing with my mind. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that the first Polynesian princess has to be so drastically different from the other princesses in appearance that she needs to be curvy, as well. It's not an absolute requirement. It just would have been nice to see just that much more representation, that's all.
Still, Disney is bringing Moana to the big screen a full two years earlier than we thought they would, which is a cause for joy. She's going to be the first Polynesian princess in their repertoire, which is a cause for celebration. And their incorporation of Māui from the Hawaiian mythology already proves that they're doing their research and genuinely trying to do a sensitive adaptation of a culture. Well, I hope so, anyway. We might not have gotten a Disney princess who has the same figure as all of us watching yet, but Moana is still a great victory for Disney diversity. In the future, here's hoping they're unafraid to push the envelope and diversify even more.
Image: Disney; disneyanimation/Tumblr