Having ADHD is like being underwater. You can do it, but it takes increasing effort, you get very restless, and eventually you can’t do it at all. Beyond a certain point, “trying” has nothing to do with it.
And the fish all around you say you could hold your breath forever if you just tried hard enough and made the effort. I mean come on, they do it all the time and it’s easy.
MOANA: EASTER EGGS, TRIVIA, AND THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Disclaimer: I did not find all of these easter eggs myself. I watched many Youtube videos and read many articles and gathered the best easter eggs and connections to the Star Wars movies and I compiled them into one organized post. Enjoy!
During Maui’s musical number, “You’re Welcome”, during the 2D/cardboard sequence, Flounder enters from the right and swims upstream. If you blink, you might miss it.
Ralph from “Wreck-It Ralph” in the movie’s credits
During the end credits, Ralph himself appears among the designs on the right side of the screen. Disney likes to give nods to its upcoming movies in current releases, and the animation studio is currently working on a “Wreck-It Ralph” sequel set to be released March 2018.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” homage
Halfway through the film, Moana and Maui encounter a tribe of anthropomorphic coconuts called kakamora. Moana remarks, “They’re kind of cute.” Then the kakamora paint pearly white teeth on their armor and take up arms. Their ship emerges from the fog, revealing a massive fleet of pirate ships. What follows is an epic chase that is very reminiscent of Mad Max: Fury Road. Just as Max, Furiosa, and their crew set out across a desert wasteland to escape the movie’s War Boys, Moana and Maui race across the sea to skirt the kakamora. Their large, ramshackle vessels are reminiscent of Immortan Joe’s brigade, while the creatures’ painted faces mimic those of the War Boys.
One of the Kakamoras has the face of Baymax from Big Hero 6.
Sebastian from “The Little Mermaid” reference
After the end credits, we see a scene of Tamatoa still stuck on his back from his confrontation with Maui and he’s searching for help. He talks about being stuck on his back and then tells the crowd that he knows they would help him if his “name was Sebastian and he has a cool Jamaican accent.”
Marshmallow from “Frozen”
The ice monster from Frozen is seen as a drawing in this scene from when Moana was a baby.
Olaf from “Frozen”
When Moana is loading up her boat with food prior to leaving the island, she dumps a load of fruit and coconuts into the hold, and on top of them all is one, single, carrot (the carrot would be the only thing that wouldn’t melt). I couldn’t find a photo of this, sadly.
UPDATE: The Olaf easter egg has been found! Credits to mrscarmcolon on Instagram
Maui transforms into Sven from Frozen
Maui’s magical fish hook gives him the ability to shape-shift, and in the scene where Maui tries to become a giant bird, he shuffles through several transformations first, and for a split second, he turns into Sven, the reindeer from “Frozen.”
Flash from “Zootopia”
Flash’s “sort of” cameo is in the realm of monsters sequence in the form of a slow-moving masked creature with multiple limbs. This was so hard to spot, I couldn’t even see it or find any photos of it. Some people think that this is actually the Flash cameo because the director said he will be in disguise, and this creature has four claws on each of his four limbs, just like a sloth.
Lin Manuel Minranda - the sunshine of my life, Hamilton creator, and writer and composer of the Moana soundtrack - has said that he wrote Tamatoa’s song “Shiny” as a tribute to the later singer. He said “… The world had already been mourning Bowie, I’d been listening to Bowie on a loop. I was like, well I’m writing a glam rock tune for this crab, this jewel-encrusted crab.“ (Extra: Jemaine Clement, who voices Tamatoa, has acted as David Bowie in his sketch comedy show, Flight of the Concords.)
The Maui sculpture - callback to The Little Mermaid and Aladdin
The statue of Maui in the cave on the island he was stuck on is a callback to the statue of Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid. Later, when the statue falls over, only the tip of Maui’s nose breaks off, which is a reference to a scene from “A Whole New World”
Moana and The Little Mermaid Parallels
Both movies have the same directors, John Musker and Ron Clements. In The Little Mermaid, Ariel wants to leave the sea to go to land, and wheras Moana wants to leave the land to go to sea. Both princesses also have fathers that want them to remain within their world’s limits.
MAUI AND HERCULES - STORIES TOLD IN REVERSE
Maui was a mortal, who was abandoned by his human parents, and taken in by “gods” who made him a demigod. Hercules was the child of “gods” but he was raised by humans after he was abandoned on Earth by Hades’ minions. (Extra easter egg: Dwayne The Rock Johnson, who voices Maui in the movie, also played Hercules in a live action adaptation).
When Maui uses HeiHei to sign on Moana’s oar, he says “When you use a bird to write with, it’s called tweeting.”
THE HOBBIT REFERENCE
Both Tamatoa and Smaug covered themselves in their treasures in their lairs deep within a mountain. And in Moana and in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, both Moana and Bilbo Baggins didn’t realize they were walking on top of their villains until the creatures emerge from underneath their treasures.
“THE ABYSS” Reference
The first time we see Moana interact with the ocean, its form is very reminiscent of the alien water tentacle from James Cameron’s 1989 sci-fi movie, The Abyss.
The Ocean and The Magic Carpet
The ocean in Moana and the magic carpet in Aladdin, were both very similar because both were sort of non-speaking characters that helps their main characters and guide them in their quest.
Lilo & Stitch references
In the movie, Moana gets embarrassed about eating a pork sandwich in front of her pet pig Pua, which is reminiscent of when Lilo explaining why she can’t feed a tuna sandwich to her pet fish, Pudge. Also, he scene where Moana uses a leaf to protect a baby turtle is reminiscent of this photo of Stitch from Lilo & Stitch.
MAUI AND THE ROCK’S EYEBROWS
Maui’s eyebrows were designed to look specifically like Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s eyebrows, and Maui raising his eyebrow is an homage to The Rock always raising his eyebrow (especially during his wrestling days).
EXTRA: NEW MOANA EASTER EGG SPOTTED IN ZOOTOPIA
Zootopia was released before Moana, and in addition to the MEWOANA Easter egg we all know, Disney hid another Moana easter egg in Zootopia - Maui’s fish hook on the back of Finnick’s van.
Listeners, as you know, it’s sandwich day. Every Thursday one lucky Night Vale citizen takes Pudge the fish a peanut butter sandwich. This Thursday that was me.
And today we were out of peanut butter! So I asked my scientist boyfriend, Carlos, what to give him, and he said ‘a tuna sandwich’. I can’t give Pudge tuna! Do you know what tuna is, listeners? It’s fish! If I give Pudge tuna, I’d be an abomination!
Carlos asked me why this is so important, but of course as we all know, Pudge controls the weather.
The first time we see Lilo, she’s running late to practice for her hula dance because she’s feeding Pudge the fish. Her justification? “Pudge controls the weather.” Later, when she’s telling Stitch about her parents, she mentions that it was raining when they were in the car accident that killed them. The rain contributed to the accident. Knowing Lilo, she’s probably afraid that something bad like that could happen again. That’s why the weather-controlling fish is so important to her.