Disney’s Moana will have one BIG badass difference to the other princesses

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Kayleigh Dray
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While there’s no denying we have a soft spot for Disney, we can’t help but despair over how Cinderella, Snow White, and Princess Aurora’s stories all revolve around them batting their eyes at a prince, falling in love, and bagging that happily-ever-after.

Even Beauty & The Beast’s Belle – and we always believed in you, Belle – has minimal character development; sure, the girl loves to read, but her own story is a tad two-dimensional, revolving almost entirely around her budding romance with her furry captor.

However, over the years, we’ve seen Disney slowly begin to edge away from the traditional girl-meets-boy (or should that be princess-meets-prince?) story. Or, at the very least, take their characters further than a meaningful glance, woodland duet, and swift (some may say ill-advised) marriage. 

Think Frozen’s Elsa, Tangled’s Rapunzel, Brave’s Merida, and Mulan, if you don’t believe us.

Now, finally, we’ve learned that Moana, Disney’s newest, most badass, and first ever Polynesian princess, will be taking the empowering female role model to an entirely new level.

That’s right; Moana’s movie won’t be a love story, it’ll be all about Moana finding herself.

Speaking at Comic Con, Auli’i Cravalho – who voices the princess – explained to film fans that her character is strong, fierce, and her happiness is NOT dependent on any man.

“She’s empowering, she’s empowered,” the actress told the crowd. “As a teen I can relate with trying to find yourself. I really love her.”

She added proudly: “After watching [this movie], I knew I was a part of something really special.”

Directors John Musker and Ron Clements were quick to support Cravalho’s comments, with Clements explaining: “Moana is going on a hero’s journey. She’s very much a hero.”

Musker added: “I think she’s going to be a fantastic role model for young girls. I think it’s a great message for young women.”

Moana, which is set 2,000 years ago in the South Pacific, follows the story of an incredibly brave 16-year-old girl, who heads off on an epic quest. Can she, with the help of a banished demi-god named Maul (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson), save the world?

Well, if any Disney princess can do it, our money’s on Moana; let’s just say she has a truly magical relationship with the ocean.

Moana hits cinemas on 2 December 2016.

Image: Disney


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.