Disney’s Moana: Anger over ‘fat’ depiction of Polynesian demigod

Los angeles June 30Disney’s upcoming film Moana is based on Polynesian mythology with a strong female lead, Princess Moana.

Maui, a character based on a legendary figure at the heart of Pacific Island culture, is one of her companions in her journey.

The depiction of th Polynesian character in a Disney film has prompted anger across the Pacific islands, with one New Zealand MP saying the portrayal of the god Maui as obese was “not acceptable”.

Jenny Salesa, who is of Tongan heritage, shared a picture on her Facebook account which said Disney’s rendering of Maui in the film Moana resembled a creature that was “half pig, half hippo”.

“When we look at photos of Polynesian men & women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable

But some, including rugby player Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, have found the rather overweight depiction of Maui to be offensive. Disney did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment.