Unwieldy fashion

16 December 2016

Re: Maui needs to maui

L.V. Letalu makes a very good point, but does so in a rather unwieldy fashion.  I get the argument being made (it’s Moana’s story, not Maui’s, and the changes which increase Maui’s flaws and reduce his power are necessary to allow Moana to be the lead), but it could have been made in a clearer fashion.

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Personally, for all of Maui’s faults, I am generally satisfied with how he was portrayed. I think, for any portrayal of Maui to work, you have to find him cool - you have to want to be like him.  This element of wish-fulfillment is what makes gods and superheroes so compelling, and I thought Moana’s portrayal of Maui generally preserved this. Maui is cool. The heroic feats he performed in the past are cool.  His tattoos are cool. His shape shifting powers are cool. His voice actor is cool. His song is cool. Therefore, whilst Maui says and does a number of problematic things, he is still a very interesting and appealing character.

It’s hard to believe that Disney’s portrayal of Maui is the first mainstream portrayal of him in film, and I agree with Letalu’s hope that we get more portrayals of him (with less problematic bodies) in the future.

 

Raphael Howard 

16 December 2016

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