The soon-to-be newest Disney movie, Moana, will be a refreshing addition to Hollywood’s animated films. Set in the Pacific Islands, a Polynesian protagonist sets out on a journey to save her people, discovering her own identity and potential along the way. Disney has released a trailer for the film, which is scheduled to premier in late November. As a corporation potentially making over a billion dollars from this film, Disney teeters a fine line between cultural appreciation and appropriation. It has an obligation and responsibility to maintain cultural accuracy and respect. Though Disney claims that it “has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film,” it did not apply that same diligence to its marketing strategies and has already made a massive blunder in a profit-driven move. Though the movie will come out in November, Disney began offering costumes of the characters in time for the Halloween season. The costume of Maui, the demigod who assists Moana on her journeys, has galvanized people to speak out about the costume’s inappropriate representation of the Polynesian culture, inducing Disney’s decision to issue an apology and pull its product from the market.
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