When you think "Disney," you probably wouldn't think of a company that's too cool with tattoos. In fact, workers at the Disney theme parks have a very strict dress code that forbids the sight of body art.
However, this dress code doesn't seem to apply to their animated staff members! Their newest upcoming epic, Moana, gives us all a history in Polynesian body art and a tutorial in melding traditional cell animation with computer generated imagery.
The titular character, Moana, a young island chieftess-in-training embarks on a voyage through the Polynesian Islands to discover her ancestry, seeking how to honor that ancestry in her newfound leadership role. Along the way, she unites with an island demigod, Maui (voiced by our real life tattooed demigod himself, Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock).
Maui is a mythical icon in Polynesian lore, with each island having their own take on the character. Disney took bits and pieces from each iteration of the demigod to succinctly put these characteristics into one role.
One of those defining characteristics Maui just so happens to have is his alive (yes, alive) tattoo version of himself known as "Mini Maui."
Mini Maui serves as Big Maui's biggest cheerleader and his conscience. He has the power to upend Big Maui's momentum by tugging on the latticework that decorates his skin. In return, Big Maui can give Mini Maui quite a shake up when he flexes his massive pecs.
What is unique about Mini Maui is he will be animated with traditional 2D animation, in conjunction with the 3D animation used for the rest of the film. Traditional animation is back again at Disney for the first time since The Princess and The Frog. Rejoice, fans of 2D animation. You have not been forgotten!
The movie is set to release on November 23, 2016 and Disney can thank the global history of tattoos for giving them a unique spin on a mythical character for their movie. Maybe they should rethink their strict policy on visible tattoos for their workers, hmmm?
I'm expecting an influx of Polynesian-style tattoos to be desired after this movie. Tattoo artists, get ready. The hoards are coming!