New Disney movie ‘Moana’ is coming for ‘Frozen’, smashing one of the chilly animation’s many box office records on just its first day at cinemas.
On opening day in the US, the Polynesian adventure has made a sturdy $15.6 million (£12.5 million).
That’s more than any pre-Thanksgiving release ever, and more than ‘Frozen’s tally, which came in at $15.1 million (£12.1 million) back in 2013.
‘Frozen’ was also released at Thanksgiving, and made $93.4 million over a five-day holiday period.
Then, of course, it went on to become the highest-grossing animation movie of all time – and the ninth highest-grossing film full stop – making a massive $1.276 billion (£1.02 billion) worldwide.
The film is also being hailed as a victory for Disney because it doesn’t feature a ‘Prince Charming’ character, something of a first for a so-called ‘Disney Princess’ movie.
However, it’s not been without criticism either.
Members of the Polynesian community have been unhappy at the depiction of Maui in the movie, voiced by Dwanye Johnson.
A demi-god in Polynesian lore, his portrayal was damned as ‘half hippo, half pig’ by a prominent MP in New Zealand.
“When we look at photos of Polynesian men and women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable – No thanks to Disney,” said Jenny Salesa, who is of Tongan heritage.
Elsewhere, Disney had to remove a Maui playsuit from shelves because of its use of ancient tribal tattoo patterns, which are held sacred in Polynesian culture.
Prior to its removal from sale, Karaitiana Taiuru, an advocate for Maori people based in Christchurch, said: “We need to take a stand now and say, ‘Look, this is not appropriate,’ to prevent other entrepreneurs trying to do something similar. There are unlimited opportunities for discrimination and exploitation.
“The tattoo is sacred and it’s unique to the wearer. People don’t just go and get some sort of design, in Maori culture you don’t just go and get something that looks Maori. It’s a form of identity, it’s about your family origins and your achievements and your history. So to wear something like that would be I think … not good.
“I’d almost liken it to taking the clothes off a dead person and putting them on, wearing their jewellery or something.”
A statement from Disney read: “The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some.
“We sincerely apologise and are pulling the costume from our website and stores.”
The movie is out across the UK on December 2.