No One Goes Beyond the Reef
My husband and I have watched Moana about a million times with our kids and he has his own theory about the plot that I’m about to share with you all because it blew my mind…
Shortly after her grandmother dies, Moana takes a boat out beyond the reef and sails for a few days before being capsized by a storm. It is here that she and Hei Hei die. Their spirits awake in purgatory where Maui has been trapped for a thousand years.
- The Ocean chose her, but never promised to keep her safe (“the ocean is straight up cooky dooks”).
When she asks for help, the ocean, knowing where she must go, disposes of her mortal body.
- She and Maui never speak to anyone outside of mythological beings or spirits.
- Mortals don’t usually enter the Realm of Monsters, her survival and presence baffling even Tamatoa. However, being an ethereal being, this qualifies her as non-mortal.
- She is visited by multiple fellow ethereal beings, such as her ancestors, and most notably her grandmother. These are the only “humans” she sees outside of Motunui.
- “You will deliver Maui across The Great Sea”
The Great Sea in many cultures is the divide between the mortal life and the after life. This may also be why Taka cannot cross the ocean, and why Maui can’t swim. The barriers they wish to cross are the barriers between life and death.
- Maui arrives to the island after losing a battle to a greater God; thus he is also possibly “dead” at the time of their meeting.
- Te Fiti has the ability to create life itself once her heart is restored.
She uses this power to restore life back to Moana, and creates a boat that Moana may use to cross The Great Sea back to mortality and her family.
- Maui is never seen interacting with any “mortal” humans. The only time he shares a screen with them is the end as a hawk that Moana recognizes as an old friend.