Moana helping the turtle as a child was a metaphor for how the ocean helped her throughout the film.
Moana didn’t pick up the turtle and carry it to the ocean, which would have been easiest for the both of them. She protected the turtle and let it make the journey itself. Because it was important that the turtle got to the ocean on its own.
This is why the ocean chose Moana. Even at a young age, she understood why the turtle needed to make its own journey.
Throughout the film, the ocean guides and protects her along the way, but it most certainly does not carry her to return the heart of the sea. It is important for Moana to make the journey by herself. She needs to fight her own battles, endure her own hardships, and forge her own path so she may become stronger.
The Oceanic Whitetip shark lives in the open ocean, far from land in tropical water. Their large pectoral fins allow them to glide through the water and take a break between tail beats, helping to conserve energy. Oceanic Whitetips are bold, opportunistic hunters; largely solitary animals, but are scavengers and will group together in a feeding frenzy if an opportunity of a meal presents itself. These sharks are known to follow pilot whales, researches believe this is because pilot whales are keen at finding squid, a favorite meal for these sharks. Although Oceanic Whitetips tend to lead lonely lives, they often don’t mind the company of pilot fish and remoras. The sharks protect the fish from predators and, in return, the fish clean parasites off the sharks’ skin.
imagine moana leaving her island, shipwrecking on maui’s refuge, and the two sailing off to restore te fiti’s heart
imagine maui teaching moana how to wayfind but the stars slowly but surely begin disappearing
imagine the film’s climax and moana and maui parting ways, but she loses her way because she can’t navigate and gets lost at sea
imagine the ocean leading moana to destiny island and meeting kairi, and befriending this girl who is the chosen one, the final princess of heart, the daughter of the mayor who loves her grandmother more than anything else in the world and has her own affinity with the water
imagine the ocean helping moana and kairi navigate the waters as the stars continue to disappear so they can restore te fiti’s heart
imagine sora being on his own adventure meeting maui, and they decide to take out te ka once and for all, te fiti’s heart be damned
imagine the final boss, where moana and kairi have to stop sora and maui from finally defeating te ka (or, alternatively, save sora and maui from being destroyed by te ka) so they can save her
imagine the stars beginning to return so moana can sail back home with maui, and kairi and sora board the gummi ship to go back to their home on the islands before continuing on their journey to save the worlds
imagine sora and kairi telling ventus, terra, and aqua about moana the wayfinder, and how she saved not only her family and island but made it through her own trials and tribulations by keeping what was really important at the forefront of her mind always, and how she didn’t let her own self doubt become her downfall