- 刺激を与える（後出 inspiration は刺激）
- cast upon ～
- figure out
- churn out
- "The Little Mermaid"
- bear (→ bore) a resemblance to ～
- emotionally involving
- source of ～
- Pacific island
- executive producer
- fairy tale
- folk tale
"Is she a princess or not?" That's the pressing question filmgoers may cast upon the main character of Disney's animated film "Moana," which opened in Japan on March 10.
But as director Ron Clements told The Mainichi Shimbun in a recent interview in Tokyo, an important theme of the film is avoiding labels.
"You should listen to your inner voice and figure out who you are in your mind," he said. He points out that the film's heroine, Moana, "doesn't want to be defined with labels."
Building on the mythology of Oceania, the film depicts the growth of Moana, who is chosen by the sea, and her adventures saving the world. Her partner is the demigod Maui. When Maui calls Moana a princess, she rejects the title, calling herself a "daughter of the village chief." She is a powerful heroine trying to overcome difficulties with her own strength.
Clements directed the film with John Musker. Together they form a top duo that has churned out Disney hits including "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin."
When asked if Moana bore more of a resemblance to a Miyazaki Hayao anime heroine than other princesses, Musker acknowledged a resemblance to characters who overcome adversaries and find strength in themselves and a connection to nature.
"I don't think that's wrong to put her in the same class as some of those people more than Snow White," he said. "We weren't trying to make her perfect, but we were trying to make her relatable, believable, emotionally involving, and I'm glad that people see her as a source of inspiration," he said.
In making the film, the two directors visited Pacific islands and listened to the legends and the music of the people there. An expert in Oceanian culture also joined the production team.
Musker said that his boss, executive producer of this film John Lasseter, was looking beyond European fairy tales to other parts of the world and other folk tales.
"I think there's a number of other cultures that could be explored that haven't really been done, certainly, in Disney animation," he said. "The world is such a rich landscape with different cultures."