Moana is kind of a big deal. The star of the upcoming animated movie is Disney’s first Polynesian princess.
But in addition to her heritage, Moana looks different from past Disney Princesses.
That’s because the creative team behind Moana — led by directors Ron Clements and John Musker — made a conscious choice to give her a different body type than past princesses.
“That was a deliberate attempt, partly inspired by wanting her to be different,” Musker said at a Moana press event in July. “And then we wanted her to be an action hero, capable of action.”
“Even the visual development drawings we had done and stuff, based on drawings of people in the South Pacific…it just seemed right for this character to have her look like she could physically hold her own for what kind of stunts we wanted her to do, and the physicality of the role,” Musker said.