Disney constantly gets hit for one reason or another about their princesses. Now they are getting complaints about a character being too big. It’s almost as if these people don’t realize that these are stylized cartoons or anything.
If you’ve seen the latest trailer for the next Disney princess movie, Moana – which is being touted as the first Disney princess movie with a Polynesian setting – Then you know that all that is known about the film is that it’s about a princess named Moana who goes on an adventure with a demigod named Maui (voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).
The animation in this film looks phenomenal and lately Disney has been really impressive with their animated films.
But because Maui was animated in a certain way, people – some of which of Polynesian descent and some not – think that he plays into a stereotype of Polynesian people being big and fat. People think this sends a racist message or a message that supports obesity.
Disney’s recently released images of the movie upset some Pacific Islanders. At issue? They say the demigod Maui is too large. In fact, they say he’s downright obese.
The criticism started on Facebook when Samoan professional rugby player Eliota Fuimanono Sapolu wrote, “Maui looking like after he fished up the islands, he deep fried ’em and and ate ’em”.
Sapolu included a photo with the caption “Three hottest men in Hollywood are Polynesian, but Disney’s Polynesian Maui is half pig, half hippo.”
The fact of the matter is that some Polynesian people do tend to be pretty big. Of course, not all of them as every body type can be found across every ethic group and race, but to say it doesn’t exist is completely ignorant. In fact, Maui doesn’t seem fat and unhealthy, but he seems like a large and strong guy. If anything, Maui shows off the fact that there is more than one body type for a fit strong character.
Another thing to remember is that this is a cartoon, an animation. If you’ve ever seen an animated film – Disney or otherwise – you’d know that proportions are hugely exaggerated for everything. If you really want to start picking out the inaccuracies of a character, you’re going to have a hard time trying to explain away Maui’s noticeably short legs.
If anything, you should focus on how Disney is communicating a much more realistic version of female characters. When looking at Moana, she doesn’t look like the typical pencil then Disney Princess that we’ve come to see, but instead she has a noticeable figure while also looking feminine.
It seems that some people won’t be happy with anything that Disney puts out and they will always try to find something wrong with it.
If anything, this should give Disney more reason to ignore them and continue making good films, that usually have good messages, for people to learn and enjoy with their family.