#Disney movies are jam-packed with various different messages, some of which are either positive or negative. Disney's latest magical journey focuses on a Polynesian heroine, Moana Waialiki, as she journeys across the oceans in order to restore peace and save her people in the process. At first the most obvious messages being displayed in the film are ones that suggest 'follow your heart' and 'embrace the strength of diversity', however there is one message that could make younger audiences question themselves.
Through the beautifully written music this negative message is hidden. It is clearly identifiable in the song 'Shiny' composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and performed by Jemaine Clement who voices the secondary antagonist, Tomatoa. This song focuses a lot on appearances and suggests that in order to be happy in life one must be 'shiny' or in other words beautiful.
If you haven't listened to it yet, do so now below;
The song in the film clearly states;
I was a drab little crab once,
Now I know I can be happy as a clam,
Because I'm beautiful baby!
Tomatoa believes he is beautiful on the outside, but lets not forget that it is his qualities on the inside that make him truly evil. However placing lyrics into a movie that has a massive focus on appearance and beauty could cause younger audiences to think that, like Tomatoa, it is what is on the outside that counts.
Tomatoa voices that due to his shininess he is able to ensure he stays alive by attracting 'dumb' fish and having delicious fish dinners. In real life, this is also seen to be evident in the workplace, with many of the more attractive/beautiful people getting further in life.
Younger audiences may be inclined to listen to this 'decapod (look it up)' as it is not excessively obvious that he is a villain, all he tries to do is eat and scare Moana with his bioluminescent bacteria. Other than that, Tamatoa is only seen on scene for a total of three and a half minuets, which is enough time for older audiences to realize that he is a bad guy, but for younger audiences he comes across almost like Sebastian in #TheLittleMermaid.
Many other movies have also expressed this message that your appearance is the most important thing to improve your life. The lists of movies include; #Grease, #TheHunchbackOfNotreDame, #TheUglyTruth, #BeautyAndTheBeast.
Here are some other lines of the song that could have younger audiences wanting to ensure they are as 'shiny' as they can be.
"Your tattoos on the outside, For just like you I made myself a work of art"
"Ever seen someone so... Shiny"
"The brightest thing that glitters"
"You'll never be quite as... Shiny"
"You wish you were nice and... Shiny"
In a world where we are already to focused on our appearances do we need Disney to be promoting this kind of message in their films? Especially one which is full of other positive messages like, be yourself, listen to your heart, be inclusive to all and what's wrong can be undone.