Published on December 2, 2016, at 11:49 a.m.
by Brittany Ray.
When you hear Disney, what do you think of?
Do you think of musical numbers that get stuck in your head? Or do you think about what Disney prince/princess you best relate to? (Believe me, we’ve all found ourselves deep in BuzzFeed quizzes learning what character we are.)
Disney is not only a source of happiness and nostalgia: It’s also a source of inspiration in both messaging and promotions. There’s something about the way Disney conducts itself that is magical.
When casting for the new movie “Moana,” Disney opened up to the Pacific Islands in order to find the lead. The last girl to audition was Auli’i Cravalho, a 14-year-old girl from Oahu, Hawaii. Cravalho brought Moana to life and was cast in the part. She appears to hold the mindset of the young princess she plays.
In a BuzzFeed video, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Cravalho and Lin-Manuel Miranda (who helped score the movie) took the Disney Princess quiz. These actors served as the main faces for the new Disney movie. Therefore, as a promotional tool, BuzzFeed made them take a quiz that would identify their favorite princess, besides Moana.
Initially, each person was asked to name their favorite princess, to which Cravalho responded Mulan.
“From a young age, she totally broke a gender role, and I thought that was so cool,” Cravalho said. Her regard for Mulan as “a kick butt warrior” is a telltale sign that Cravalho holds the strength and mindset in order to bring Moana to life.
In the movie, there is no love interest. Moana is this young woman who is being taught to run the island that will one day be hers. There is no pressure to be married off. There is no pressure to impress or capture the attention of a male. Her sole job, in her father’s eyes, is to learn the ways of the island and the needs of the people.
“Moana” teaches more than just the act of bravery and feeling courageous. It teaches children and 21-year-old adults like myself, that ultimately, you follow your heart and do what makes you happy. The islanders are forbidden to go beyond the reef due to … just kidding, I won’t give away any of the movie! However, a problem arises and Moana gives in to her heart, and breaks the rules in order to bring peace of mind to her people and save her island.
Moana can serve as an inspiration to all kids, and once again adults. As the newest princess, Moana is one of two princesses without a male counterpart. And while I do enjoy some of the ever-smooth Disney princes that we are all familiar with, Disney’s recent movies are showing that non-platonic love isn’t the ultimate goal.
Some of Disney’s recent movies, such as “Brave,” “Moana,” “Frozen” and “Zootopia,” show the steps Disney is taking to make sure its movies fit in with today’s times. Instead of sending the same, classic message, Disney sends a message to the younger generation that success and a happy ending are more than just falling in love. Disney is moving its focus from romantic love to listening to your heart and celebrating the differences that make up our world.
Like I mentioned earlier, Disney is a source of inspiration because of its movies and because of its ability to create an experience with them. Disney is in the business of creating an experience, and it succeeds in just that. For example, you can create your own Kakamora, an evil coconut pirate. (I created one myself, because of research, you know?)
Of course, I have to touch on the social media promotion for this movie. Its Twitter is current and interactive. It plays as a source of more than just a promotion piece, but also as a place to acknowledge the amazing work the stars of this movie are participating in.
All in all, it’s another smash Disney hit with phenomenal promotion. Go see it. If you manage not to cry, I applaud you.