One of the best parts about watching a Disney Animations Studios film is seeing all the Easter Eggs. In fact, Easter Eggs is one of the reasons to see the film in the theatre more than once and then go buy it on Blu-Ray when it comes out. I've seen Moana three times now and I can't wait to see it again to find even more Moana Easter Eggs. Here are 15 Moana Easter Eggs I've found and some of the parallels and Easter Eggs I've made between some of the other Disney films, and I didn't even include any of the zillions of hidden Mickeys scattered throughout the movie. PS, there maybe spoilers ahead.
In the scene with the Kakamora coconut warriors, when Moana lands on the Kakamora’s boat, there is a Kakamora with a Baymax face. Who doesn't love the adorable Baymax from Big Hero 6.
When Maui is having trouble shape-shifting Tamatoa’s liar after he retrieves is magical fishhook, one of the animals he shape-shifts to is Sven from Frozen.
Did you see Olaf in Moana? If you blinked, you may have missed him. Olaf from Frozen can’t live on an island because it’s too warm, but his carrot nose makes an appearance on the island as Sina helps Moana pack up to get on the canoe.
In the 2D animation scene during “You’re Welcome,” Flounder from The Little Mermaid is among the swimming fish.
5. Squirt and Crush
In the beginning of the movie, the little sea turtle is Squirt and in the water you see Crush, as well. I’m pretty sure I spotted see Dory in that same sequence, as well.
The question of the day is…is the sea turtle in Moana Crush or is Squirt in Moana? You decide. Timeline wise? I don't know if it's Squirt and/or Crush in Moana. What I do know, is that it is at least one or the other. Disney Animation always adds their own characters and the directors confirmed it. That's good enough for me.
6. Wreck-It Ralph
If you stay for the credits, you’ll get to see the Wreck-It Ralph as a tapestry. This is a nod to the fact that Wreck-It Ralph 2 is the next Disney Animation Studios film scheduled to release (March 9, 2018).
In the realm of Monsters sequence, watch for Flash from Zootopia as an bioluminescence faced “monster.” You’ll see an animal with a glowing face and four toes that looks a bit sloth-like.
8. Lilo and Stitch
When Moana grabs the frond and uses it to scoot Squirt toward the water, it’s a nod to when Stitch does the same with the sea turtles in Lilo and Stitch.
9. Lilo and Stitch
Moana says, “Mmmm that’s good pork,” in front of Pua, a joke that’s that’s similar to the reference Lilo’s sister makes about giving Lilo’s fish a tuna sandwich.
10. Princess and the Frog
When they are about to enter the Realm of Monsters, Maui lands first, Moana crashes down on top of him. In the Princess in the Frog, Tiana falls first, Naveen crashes down second. (My 9-year-old daughter mentioned this one to me).
Maui’s backstory is the reverse of the Hercules backstory. Also, Dwayne Johnson was in a live-action Hercules in 2014
One of the objects that falls off Tamatoa looks like a rocket. Moana uses it as a drum while she's baiting Tamatoa, but is it a nod to the sequel Disney is creating of the 1991 movie the Rocketeer?
13. Film Directors Ron Clements and John Musker
Director Ron Clements and John Musker are known for hiding caricatures of themselves in the Disney animated films they have directed. They’ve directed so many of my favorite films over the years, including Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog, Hercules, The Little Mermaid, and so many more.
This time, their appearance can't be seen in any crowds.
During this song, “Where You Are,” at the beginning of the film is where you'll see Ron and John hiding.
When the villagers come out to place a cloth on a clothesline, look at the fabric detail. Ron and John are hidden in the design. They also seem to be hidden in the Kakamora in the same scene with Baymax.
14. Little Mermaid Parallels/Easter Eggs
It makes sense to see lots of “Under the Sea” parallels give that The Little Mermaid is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s favorite Disney Movie and Directors John Musker Ron Clements directed The Little Mermaid.
Gramma Tala’s necklace she gives to Moana is a call back to the necklace in The Little Mermaid that was used by Ursula to hold Ariel’s voice. The necklace represents a vessel for holding a key to the resolution in the film.
Also, the rock in Maui’s cave is similar to the statue of Prince Eric in Ariel’s Grotto and the face breaking off is nod to when Eric’s face breaks off his statue.
You can’t help but see the parallels of the fathers of the Ariel and Moana wanting their daughters to stay within the limits of their habitats. However, unlike King Triton, Chief Tui’s mandate is one created from fear and trauma through his personal experience beyond the reef, not one of oppression and because “that’s the way things have always been.”
The brilliant and fun reference to Sebastian the Crab in the end credit scene of Moana is a great hat tip to The Little Mermaid as well.
15. Aladdin Parallels/Easter Eggs
The carpet having its own character goes beyond the water just being an important part of the story and part of the Polynesian culture. The water is very Aladdin Magic Carpet-esque. The water guides her forward in her journey without words, it helps her, it chose her. The water even high-fives her like the Magic Carpet does.
Maui’s fast and furious transformations during his shape-shifting are a nod to the transformations the Genie undergoes in Aladdin.
Word on the street is the Genie’s lamp is floating around, too, but I haven’t seen it yet. I would venture a guess it’s in Tamatoa’s liar, though. Comment if you’ve seen it!
What other Easter Eggs have you seen or parallels have you made with other films from Disney?
Like this post? Read out Spoiler-Free Moana Review