Nothing says mommy-daughter bonding than a movie date with the little munchkin. The long holiday break afforded Ariana and Mommy some much-needed time to hit the movie theater and watch Disney's latest animation flick, Moana. The little girl, who now knows every Disney princess at heart, has never been this excited to see another Disney movie since she first watched Frozen and was introduced to huggable Olaf and the ice queen, Elsa.
The reviews were spot on—Moana is lovable! There are several reasons why the movie is a visual adventure for all ages. For one, it has a two-punch combo of a lush animation and an awesome soundtrack with songs co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creative mind behind the Broadway musical hit, Hamilton. The movie is also a historical moment for Disney—Moana is its first Polynesian princess. But my favorite part is its solid storytelling and how it deviates from the "prince saves the princess" storyline that has long been Disney's magical formula. Instead, the male protagonist in this film is a demi-god named Maui, funny, generous-at-heart but with a chip on his shoulder to prove he is all-powerful.
For a mother of a five-year-old "film critic" who can be brutally honest, the best part about the entire experience is the chance to share a conversation with Ariana on which important takeaways she has learned. Here are four of our favorite life-changing lessons from Moana:
1. Seek out your purpose, even when it requires you to sail beyond the reef.
Fear often holds us back from becoming great. We hear naysayers tell us not to do that, not to say this, or not to act this way. Don't leave the comforts of home, you're too young to be on your own. Don't audition, you are not good enough. Don't resign, you will never find a better opportunity.
But what's clear in this movie is that, when we find our purpose in life, it never stops calling our name, in the same way the ocean never stopped chasing Moana. In the end, despite dire warnings, we have to sail to fulfill our purpose, even if that means sailing beyond the reef and facing the rough seas.
2. Bang the drums.
That was exactly what set off Moana's adventure. She banged the drums and saw a glimmer of clarity on what she needed to do. Often, we simply have to be brave enough to take action. It takes a small step to make the full journey.
3. Find someone who can teach you to sail.
At one point in our lives, we meet people who are generous enough to hold a torch for us in order to show us the way so we can shine brighter at what we do. We may call them different names—teacher, guru, leader or mentor. Like Moana, the only way to become good at something is to find a mentor. And like Moana, don't be afraid to ask for help and guidance, as well as be persistent until they finally see you worthy to be taken under their wings.
4. Write your own story.
You have the power to write your own story. Your fate is not set, even Maui's tattoos of defeat, victories and history are not permanent. Be always aware that you are the master of your own fate. If things seem hopeless or meaningless, flip to another chapter. In your hand you hold the power to rewrite your happy endings.
UP NEXT: Keep an eye out of our next post on Moana-inspired fashion. We promise you, you won't want to miss that!