More pink eggs!
More golden eggs…
Let’s watch Easter eggs too!
There’s Marshmallow from Frozen!
Little bears are watching Moana, to discover all the hidden Easter eggs.
Marshmallow’s image – Elsa’s snow monster bodyguard – was adapted to the Polynesian style of art presented on the tapestries in Moana’s village.
In the hilarious scene where Maui is finally reunited with his magical fishing hook on the back of a creature in Lalotai (Realm of Monsters), he has a little difficulty transforming into the animal he would like (in this case, a giant hawk) in order to escape. He begins as a fish, a shark, and briefly transforms into Sven, before defaulting back to a man.
Baymax was the lovable healthcare robot protagonist from the action-adventure Disney movie Big Hero 6, and somehow has found himself on the pirate ship belonging to the Kakamora. The Kakamora are a tribe of pirates who appear to be coconuts with armour and are one of the numerous monsters Moana and Maui must defeat on their voyage to restore Te Fiti’s heart. Although they cannot vocalize, these little guys are sneaky and fearless despite their adorable appearance. In the scene where Moana confronts them, you can pick out a certain white robot face among the others.
At the beginning of Moana when, as a baby, she finds Te Fiti’s heart and is chosen by the sea, she helps a baby turtle reach the ocean by shading it with a very familiar-looking frond (nod to Lilo and Stich). The baby turtle looks suspiciously like Squirt from Finding Nemo! Then the little turtle is reunited with his father, Crush 🙂
Ralph gets his own tapa cloth in the end credits of the film. This is a quick foreshadowing (as Disney is well-known for) to the upcoming sequel to Wreck-It Ralph. At the very end of the credits, if you’re quick you can spot a Polynesian-style sketch of Ralph in the right hand side of the screen, right underneath the list of “Production Babies” from the film (staff babies born during production). Wreck-It Ralph 2 is set to be released in March 2018. This time he’s going to wreck the internet.
Ron Clements and John Musker, the directing duo behind Moana, were also the creative minds behind The Little Mermaid in 1989, so it comes as no surprise that they would include nods to old characters.
In the scene where Maui sings to Moana (“You’re Welcome”) and the animation style switches to a dream-like 2D world, you can briefly make out the image of Ariel’s best friend and animal sidekick Flounder in the centre of this shot, surrounded by other fish.
Leave it to Disney to create a crab character that references the original crab we all know and love, Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. Though portrayed as an antagonist in Moana, Tamatoa from the Realm of Monsters is just as musically inclined, but with a penchant for anything shiny and a desire to eat everything–and everyone. Maui ends up finding his magical fishing hook embedded in the jewels on Tamatoa’s back, and after a tussel and a song, the crab is flipped on his back and defeated. If you catch it at the end of the credits, an additional clip of him appears, still on his back and asking for help. In a nod to The Little Mermaid, he says: “Can we be real? If my name was Sebastian, and I had a cool Jamaican accent, you would totally help me. You know you would.” Yes, we probably would.
Moana directors Ron Clements and John Musker also helmed Aladdin, and they also snuck in several references to the beloved 1992 tale.
We’ve seen the Genie’s lamp from Aladdin appear embedded in other films, but this one was almost lost amidst the shiny pile of trinkets collected by Tamatoa in the Realm of Monsters. If you look really, really hard, you might be able to catch it at the bottom left of the pile when Maui finally claims his beloved magical hook off the crab’s back. Unfortunately, Moana didn’t spot it either – she could’ve definitely used the Genie’s help on her voyage.
Appearing at the very beginning of the film when Moana has grown up and is walking through the village during the song “Where You Are”, see if you can find the similarities between the pattern on this blanket and that found on the Magic Carpet. It’s the exact same as the carpet in Agrabah from the film Aladdin. Though Moana’s design is printed on tapa – a traditional Polynesian cloth made from the bark of a mulberry tree – and not quite as colourful (or airborn) as the Magic Carpet, there’s no denying that they’re one in the same.
Clements and Musker also continued their tradition of including themselves in their films. In the past, the pair have popped up in Aladdin and Hercules, and here, they show up in two unexpected places. Their first cameo in Moana can be seen on the tapa hung out on a clothesline following the appearance of the Magic Carpet from Aladdin. The likeness is spot-on with these illustrations, but isn’t the only appearance they make in the film.
Harder to find than the first, but equally as cheeky, we can see both the director’s faces embedded in the Polynesian totems at the side of screen during the scene when Chief Tui and the villagers assemble to discuss the state of the dying crops on the island. Clements and Musker are known to have revitalized Disney animation in the 1990s, and we definitely don’t mind paying a little tribute to the work they’ve done over the years. We can only imagine that Moana is one of many cleverly evolved Disney stories they have to tell.