Disney and Family History: how Moana teaches why family history for kids is vital


Have you seen the Disney movie Moana yet? It’s such a cute movie!  It’s the first movie we took Addi to at the theater. (We were brave!) She loved it! And I loved the family connections portrayed. It’s easy to see the family history in this fun and powerful film.

What it also shows is the importance of getting kids involved in knowing their own family history. Why would it be important for kids to connect to their families?


Moana is the daughter of the island chief and even though her parents tell her she must stay on the islands, she feels drawn to the ocean and doesn’t know why. Her grandmother encourages her to follow her heart. She then comes upon some boats hidden in a cave. A song breaks out that gives Moana more understanding about her and her people:

She now knows why she is drawn to the water. She better understands where she came from. Later in the movie,  she doubts the reason for her journey and almost gives up when her ancestors come to help her and remind her of who she is. All copyrights are Disney’s.

Family history is powerful. Kids especially can benefit because it can help them better understand who they are and where they come from. Hearing real stories from their own family helps them be more resilient to the challenges life brings and they can draw from the examples and stories they hear. What a more powerful way to teach life lessons than by things that actually happened in their own family!

Why wouldn’t we want our kids or grandkids to be more capable to handle life and have a stronger bond to family members?  There are many, many ways to incorporate family history into everyday life. Like, you could just watch Moana and then point out how she found out who she was by knowing more about her family. Then, tell a short, simple family story of your own. Or even making a family photo album and preserving your own family adventures. BOOM! Family history.

These are going to make some great stories some day!

Find something your kids enjoy then connect it to a family story somehow and they will never forget it. See?  Family history can be easy. It’s not just about the hard core research. It’s fun! Now, go watch Moana and get those kids interested in their own family’s stories.

Check out other posts on why it’s important for kids to be involved in family history! 

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13 thoughts on “Disney and Family History: how Moana teaches why family history for kids is vital

  1. I just love that film. Since it came out, we’ve been singing the songs in our house non-stop. I especially sing these lines: “I am the daughter of the village chief … we are descended from voyagers, who found their way across the world … THEY CALL ME!”


  2. When we got out of the theater, my husband said, “yep … they figured out how to put family history into a movie”. I was so excited! I loved the movie and the messages it teaches about how our ancestors influence our lives today. Thanks for sharing … I’m going to write a post about it someday too. It is powerful!


  3. Great post Alexis. I really loved Moana as well. I was so happy that they didn’t add a love story element. The focus stayed on Moana accomplishing something important and drawing from the strength of her ancestors.


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