Disney has announced the addition of its first Polynesian princess, Moana Waialiki of the Pacific Islands. The movie follows Moana, voiced by fourteen year old Native Hawaiian Auli’i Cravalho, throughout her quest for the fabled island for which her parents had previously searched. Taking place over two thousand years ago in Oceania, Moana is helped by her companion Maui, a Hawaiian demigod, voiced by co-star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The inclusion of Moana to the assortment of Disney’s princesses adds diversity necessary for Disney to reach new viewers. Disney’s target audience extends to young girls, particularly the ones who share cultural aspects with the particular princess. Just as Snow White appeals to young Caucasian girls and Tiana appeals to young African-American girls, Moana will become popular among the majority of young Pacific Island girls who were previously not represented.