Maui is fat. So what?

For some reason, even though images of this movie have been around for a long time, only NOW are people coming out of the woodwork and getting mad at the depiction of Maui. And the reason? They basically think he’s ‘fat and ugly’ (one person said he looks half pig, half hippo).

Okay, I’m really sorry, but this is pissing me off. Why? Because it’s really fatphobic.

Apparently, if you are a mighty heroic demigod, you need to be handsome and lean. You’re fat? Apparently you’re a bad role model. Fat people aren’t allowed to be heroes. They’re sidekicks at best, villains at worse. Being fat is inherently ugly and gross and bad and Disney should feel bad, is the impression I’m getting. Disney ONLY did this to be offensive to Polynesians (never mind they made a beautiful Polynesian princess and there are images of her father and he isn’t fat and they went out of their way to cast The Rock and consult actual Polynesians) and not because they possibly, you know, make it clear that the character is not a love interest to our teenage heroine and show that they’re moving away from making all their lead characters look the same, apparently.

To that, I say: no. Just no. Fat children of all races deserve to see themselves as powerful and heroic.

Look, you should absolutely criticize Disney’s depiction of Polynesian culture in this movie, but can we NOT give out the impression that, if you’re fat and not conventionally attractive, you’re automatically less deserving of respect and that you can’t be a hero? There’s a way to criticize the design choices for Maui without getting angry that fat people are given some much needed representation.

Author: Laura Alexander

My name is Laura, I use they/them pronouns, and I'm a college student with Asperger's currently enrolled at the Social Service Worker Program at Sheridan College. I have a passion for film and animation, social issues, and helping others, all of which will be featured on The Flying Red Robot blog. Please read the about page before commenting or following. "Big Hero 6" is my favourite movie.

4 thoughts on “Maui is fat. So what?”

  1. I read the news about this and was just as shocked as you are. Finally we’re getting some diversity and now people are hating on it. It’s such a shame. This movie looks fantastic and I think that’s what people should focus on. This will (hopefully) be a movie that Polynesians can be proud of. Thanks for this post, let’s all stay respectful. Nice blog btw, are you currently sharing your work on any other movie/tv platforms?


    1. All of this, and thank you!
      I have a twitter (@FlyingRedRobot) where I post links to my blog and the occasional opinion but so far I am currently not writing on other websites, if that’s what you’re asking. I would like to, but I’m not sure what site would be the most appropriate (or will accept what I write).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. No problem, it was an inspiring read.

    Well, if you’d be interested, I’d love to introduce you to Moviepilot/Creators and to help you get your writing seen there. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if that sounds like something you’d be up for. You can find my contact details on my blog. 🙂


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