Moana maybe the the only one from any movie or TV show to have a pretty accurate presentation and introduce the Poukai/Haast’s Eagle/Harpagornis (Aquila moorei) to a much wider audience.
For those who are not aware, the Poukai was the largest eagle to have ever lived, with a wingspan of between 2 and 3 metres, and weighing up to 13 kilograms. While the eagle was only native to New Zealand, the Poukai is still a pretty big deal in Polynesian culture. Scientists are able to recreate the plumage coloration of this remarkable bird (shown in the photo below) as the Maori describe this apex predator in their stories.
It has a strong resemblance to the giant eagle/hawk Maui transforms into. Granted a bit more stylized.
PLEASE GO SEE MOANA IT’S SUCH A GORGEOUS FILM:
-heroine is also hard working and determined
-she gets crap done son
-no love interest!! Not even implied!
-POC characters galore!!
-realistic names of characters!
-characters with all different body types!
-baby moana!! Is so cute!
-the music! It’s fantastic!
-seriously the music!!!
-depicts a beautiful culture with beautiful stories!
-the depiction of said culture is accurate due to years of research!
-Dwayne “the rock” Johnson!
-Chris Jackson and Philippa Soo have singing parts!
-Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music and sings!
-the HAIR animation!!
-the WATER animation!!
-heihei the chicken!
-pua the pig!
-etc etc etc