Moana Wikia
Moana Water.jpg
Background Information
Feature Films Moana
Video Games Moana: Island Life
Moana: Rhythm Run
Voiced by
Animated by
Inspiration The Pacific Ocean
Character Information
Other Names
Personality Protective, helpful, mysterious, spunky, resilient, playful, unpredictable, patient
Alignment Good
Friends Moana, Gramma Tala, Maui, Heihei, Te Fiti
Enemies Te Kā (formerly)
Likes Moana, peace within the world, goodness
Disikes Maui's stubbornness, Heihei's stupidity, those who oppose Moana
Powers and Abilities Sentience
Quote '
The ocean is a friend of mine!
―Moana to Heihei

The Ocean of the South Pacific is an expanse of sea that serves as a supporting character in Disney's 2016 animated feature film Moana. The ocean has a high level of sentience and acts as a legitimate character within the supernatural logic of the film's world. It spends a millennium searching for an individual capable of saving humanity when the world falls victim to a devastating curse, and ultimately chooses a young islander named Moana. Over the course of the journey, the ocean becomes one of Moana's most trusted and significant companions.


The ocean was the first entity to roam the earth. When the world's first island emerged as a goddess known as Te Fiti, countless new islands were created with the ocean serving as the force that connects them all. After the heart of Te Fiti was lost at sea, resulting in the world being plunged into darkness, legends foretold that the ocean would one day choose an individual worthy enough to restore the heart and save mankind from destruction. Over the course of a millennium, however, these legends were thought of nothing more than fictitious stories. The only one who saw any truth within them was Tala, an eccentric woman living on the peaceful island of Motunui. Tala kept the stories alive by teaching them to the younger generations, including her granddaughter Moana, who felt drawn to the sea since her earliest years as a toddler.

The ocean has a mind of its own and can form its water particles into a tentacle-like appendage to grab objects. It will also use this method to mimic human traits such as head-nodding or high-fiving, as a way to communicate with Moana and her accomplices. At night, the ocean illuminates when emerged, giving off a glow similar to the light emitted from spirits of the deceased.

Essential guide description

Moana has loved the ocean since she was young and longs to discover what lies beyond the reef. It's as if the ocean is calling to her like a friend. And when she ventures out at last, it guides and helps her on her journey.


During the creative team's visit to the Pacific Islands, the filmmakers learned from interviews with the native people that they felt a personal relationship and closeness with the ocean, and how the ocean itself was regarded as though it was alive. The filmmakers were then inspired to make the ocean a character to reflect this idea.[1]

Role in the Film

At the beginning of the movie, the ocean clears the water to make way for Moana to pick up seashells in a trail leading to the heart. Later, the ocean sprays Moana with water when Tala gives her the heart. When Moana is shipwrecked on Maui's island later in the film, the ocean is thought to have brought her there. When Moana begins to swim after Maui, the ocean sweeps her through the water to Maui's boat. Afterward, the ocean sweeps Moana back onto the boat whenever Maui throws her overboard, or brings back Maui when he tries to swim away. When Maui says he will not teach Moana how to way find, the ocean sticks a blowdart in Maui's butt cheek. The ocean takes the heart back when Moana asks it to. Towards the end of the movie, the ocean protects Moana from one of Te Ka's blows. The ocean also clears the way for Te Ka to come to Moana.


  • Many film journalists compared the ocean's character to that of Carpet from another Ron Clements and John Musker animated film: Disney's Aladdin.


Promotional Material

Concept Art




  1. Gearan, Katelyn (November 21, 2016). "Why the Ocean Became a Character and More We Learned About The Making Of Moana". Oh My Disney. Disney. Retrieved on November 26, 2016.