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Maui is the deuteragonist of Disney's 56th full-length animated feature film Moana.
He is voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who portrayed Joe Kingman in The Game Plan, Rockblock in G.I. Joe Retaliation, Chuck Baker in Planet 51, Jack Brunoin Race to Witch Mountain, and Luke Hobbs in Fast & Furious. In the Maori version, he was voiced by Piripi Taylor. In the Hawaiian version, he was voiced by Elijah Kaʻikena Scanlan.
On the Polynesian island of Motunui, the inhabitants worship the goddess Te Fiti, who brought life to the ocean using a pounamu stone as her heart and the source of her power. Maui, the shape-shifting demigod of the wind and sea and master of sailing, steals the heart to give humanity the power of creation. However, Te Fiti disintegrates, and Maui is attacked by Te Kā, a volcanic demon. He loses both his magical giant fishhook and the heart to the depths of the sea.
After the ocean transported Moana to the island of Maui, the two meet and start off as mildly antagonistic. Maui is more concerned with Moana's boat, which he steals by trapping Moana in a cave. She manages to use her wits to escape and travels to Maui with the help of the ocean. She orders him to return the heart, but upon seeing it, Maui attempts to leave the boat, only to be brought back by the ocean. He claims the heart is cursed, which Moana refuses to believe until they are attacked by a gang of pirates called Kakamora.
The Kakamora are thirsty for Te Fiti's power core, but Moana holds her ground and fights against them. She successfully retrieves the heart and defeats the pirates. Although Maui congratulates her for surviving, he adamantly refuses to help return the heart. Moana persuades him to comply when she claims that such an act will help Maui regain a positive reputation among mortals. Maui agrees to help, but not without his hook, which is said to be in the clutches of Tamatoa, a giant crab living in the monster realm. As they move forward, Moana observes as Maui is revealed to be a master scout. She asks him to teach her, and after he initially refuses, the ocean uses one of the Kakamora's darts to paralyze the stubborn demigod, leaving him unable to navigate. With no other choice, he teaches Moana how to go. After much mentoring, Moana falls asleep and has a nightmare in which she looks at her home island and her parents destroyed by Te Kā's curse. When she wakes up, she finds that Maui has taken over the boat and successfully led them to Lalotai Island.
As they climb a mountain to reach the entrance to the underworld, Maui wonders why the ocean chose Moana to save the world, to which she doesn't seem to know it herself. Despite her sudden sense of doubt, Moana follows Maui into Lalotai and ends up finding the hook. She distracts Tamatoa long enough for Maui to regain his hook, but the demigod finds that his shape-shifting abilities are out of control. Feeling confident, Tamatoa attacks Maui and imprisons Vaiana to prevent her from interfering. As she watches helplessly, Tamatoa taunts Maui about her hidden insecurities and alludes to her tragic past. As such information was previously unknown to him, Moana is confused by Tamatoa's words. She nonetheless escapes from her cell while Tamatoa is distracted and uses a fortune double from Te Fiti's heart to divert attention from Maui. The two escape, and once they are safe, Maui thanks Moana for her help, though he reprimands himself for failing to defeat Tamatoa and almost let Moana be killed accordingly.
They set off again, but an despondent Maui feels unable to defeat Te Kā and restore the heart without his hook. Moana, wanting to give Maui the benefit of the doubt, seeks to discover the underlying plot of the demigod. It only angers Maui, prompting Moana to confess her own feelings of doubt by revealing that she doesn't know why the ocean chose her. She further explains that she is still intending to save her dying island, although she can only do so with Maui's aid. Moana offers to lend an ear to the demigod, and Maui eventually opens up to her by revealing that he was born human and was callously abandoned by his parents. After being adopted by the gods, he became a hero and protected humanity to win the love his parents had denied him. Maui admits that he feels worthless without his hook, but Moana sees a true hero in the demigod, regardless of his magical attributes. It resonates with Maui and gives him the courage to train in order to regain his power, under the direction of Moana and Mini Maui (Maui's sentient tattoo). At the same time, Maui strengthens Moana's mentorship in orientation, eventually turning her into a master navigator in the same way as her ancestors, though Maui confirms that she may have surpassed them.
The two finally decide that they are ready to face Te Kā. Maui encourages Moana to use her skills and navigate the rest of the way, and with the demigod's teachings in mind, Moana arrives in Te Fiti, to the delight of a proud Maui. Maui then takes heart and flies to Te Fiti, but he is immediately attacked by Te Kā and swiftly defeated. Landing on the boat, Maui urges Moana to turn around for their own safety, but she refuses, not wanting to back down after being so close to reaching her goal. She makes them sail to Te Fiti and directly within Te Kā's attacking range. The lava monster strikes to kill Moana, but Maui intervenes and uses his hook to block Te Kā's blow. The wave created by the powerful impact blasts Moana and Maui away from the shores of Te Fiti. After recovering, Maui confronts Moana about her recklessness, which severely damaged his hook. Believing that the ocean has wrongly chosen Moana as the savior of the world, Moana refuses to return to Te Kā, suggesting instead that they separate because all hope is lost with her hook in such a critical state, leaving Moana depressed and upset. Moana stands defiantly at the thought of stepping back and tearfully tries to force Maui to stay, but she is rejected because the demigod uses some of his power to turn into a hawk and fly away in the night. Alone, Moana tearfully asks the ocean to find someone else to restore the heart and loses hope. The ocean obliges and takes the heart, but Tala's spirit appears, inspiring Moana to find her true calling.
After retrieving the heart and repairing her boat, Moana returns to Te Fiti with Heihei by her side. They face Te Kā, whom Moana manages to thwart to cross the barrier islands of Te Fiti. Unfortunately, Te Kā ended up catching and attacking. Moana is thrown from her boat and is nearly killed by the lava demon until Maui returns with a change of heart. Determined to protect Moana despite the damaged condition of his hook, Maui distracts Te Kā while the ocean helps Moana reach the fused shores of Te Fiti. There, she cannot locate the spiral in which the heart must be placed. Looking into the distance, she notices a glowing spiral on Te Kā's chest and quickly realizes that the lava demon is Te Fiti. Moana sings "Know Who You Are" to tame Te Kā, who finds peace in the former's heartening words and turns into molten rock. Moana places her heart in Te Kā's chest, and the lava monster's body crumbles, reviving the radiant and lush Te Fiti.
The goddess revives the dying islands around the world, as well as Moana's boat and Maui's hook. Moana asks Maui to go home, but Maui warmly denies it, instead of showing Moana a new tattoo on her body, inspired by her heroism. The two hug warmly before Maui turns into a hawk and flies away.
Powers and Abilities
Superhuman Strength: Maui possesses extreme superhuman strength. The latter allows him to jump significant heights that end with damaging land. Maui's incredible strength allows him to perform impossible feats such as singlehandedly dredging up islands, lassoing the sun, and even pushing up the sky. Maui's strength also lies in his lungs, as he can produce massive gusts of wind to clear a path before or surrounding him. He apparently uses this ability to harness the breeze in the world's air.
Immortality: Since becoming a demigod, Maui is virtually immortal, looking as the same in the present as he did one thousand years ago. His immortality is likely how he survived on a desert island in that length of time with little or no food or freshwater, and allows him to survive attacks from monsters and other deities that would greatly injure or kill a normal person.
Shapeshifting: With the help of his hook, Maui is able to shape shift into anything he can imagine, mostly just animals.
Illusions: Maui was able to create cartoony illusions to distract Moana.
Sentient Tattoos: Maui has a living tattoo of himself on his chest, who is able to move around his entire body.
Fishhook: Maui's primary weapon is his giant fishhook, which he can use to fight, shapeshift, and even lift/pull objects.
No one loves Maui more than he does, and he assumes the rest of the world feels the same way. The only thing bigger than his massive muscles is his massive ego. But beneath all that swagger, Maui also has deep-seated insecurities he seldom opens up about. He'd rather be loved from afar than truly make a connection with humans he protects.