Tag Archives: We Know the Way

Moana “I am Moana” (2016)

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Moana “I am Moana” (2016)

Like many animated Disney films, there comes a point in Moana when it seems like all hope is lost. The first encounter with Te Ka ended in near catastrophe; the boat is badly damaged; worst of all, Maui has abandoned Moana and the quest to restore the Heart of Te Fiti entirely. However unlike earlier films, where the hero/heroine simply steels themselves and keeps on going, Moana has a heart to heart with the spirit of her grandmother and admits that she can’t do this, the ocean needs to choose someone else. And her grandmother agrees! The Heart is given back to the ocean and Moana is told that she can leave for home whenever she wants. This moment is huge because how often do you see a Disney heroine saying “I can’t do it” in this way? Oh granted other Disney heroines have had their down moments, but none of them have so thoroughly set up the idea that the quest won’t be completed like this one has.

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But of course, since this IS Disney, Moana hesitates to return home, though she doesn’t understand why. Wanting to help her granddaughter, Grandma Tala has a song to help her discover, at long last, who she really is:

I know a girl from an island
She stands apart from the crowd
She loves the sea and her people
She makes her whole family proud

Sometimes, the world seems against you
The journey may leave a scar
But scars can heal and reveal just
Where you are

The people you love will change you
The things you have learned will guide you
And nothing on Earth can silence
The quiet voice still inside you

And when that voice starts to whisper,
“Moana, you’ve come so far”
“Moana, listen”
“Do you know who you are?”

This is it, the pivotal moment for our heroine: Moana must reach down inside herself and discover who she really is.

Who am I?
I am a girl who loves my island
I’m the girl who loves the sea
It calls me

I am the daughter of the village chief
We are descended from voyagers
Who found their way across the world
They call me

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As Moana acknowledges her lineage and her continuing connection to the ocean, suddenly on the horizon she sees dozens of ships approaching. It’s her ancestors who used to sail the oceans, including the one we saw in “We Know the Way.” They acknowledge each other and Moana finally understands that she is a wayfinder like her ancestors before her, this is who she is and always has been!

I’ve delivered us to where we are
I have journeyed farther
I am everything I’ve learned and more
Still it calls me

And the call isn’t out there at all
It’s inside me
It’s like the tide
Always falling and rising
I will carry you here in my heart
You remind me
That come what may
I know the way
I am Moana!

Now completely encouraged, Moana dives after the Heart of Te Fiti, repairs her boat and heads back to the island to face off with Te Ka one more time.

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I love “I am Moana” it literally makes me cry every time I listen to it. Discovering your identity is such an important moment and it’s stirring to hear Moana fully embrace who she is. In this song are echoes of two earlier pieces: “Where You Are” and “How Far I’ll Go.” It’s great to hear portions of earlier melodies come together into something new. But please let me know what you think about “I am Moana” in the comments below and have a great day!

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See also:

Moana “Where You Are” (2016)

Moana “How Far I’ll Go” (2016)

Moana “How Far I’ll Go (reprise)” (2016)

Moana “We Know the Way” (2016)

Moana “You’re Welcome” (2016)

Moana “Shiny” (2016)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Moana “We Know the Way” (2016)

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Moana “We Know the Way” (2016)

After unsuccessfully attempting to sail beyond the reef, Moana’s grandmother Tala decides its time Moana learned about a secret. Hidden deep in a cave behind a waterfall is a fleet of huge ships, far bigger than anything used to fish in the lagoon. At Tala’s urging Moana explores the ships and beats the drum on the largest ship, somehow awakening the spirits of the ancestors who show Moana a vision from the distant past: these ships once sailed all over the ocean, traveling from one island to the next. This journey is narrated by “We Know the Way.”

We read the wind and the sky when the sun is high
We sail the length of the seas on the ocean breeze
At night, we name every star
We know where we are
We know who we are, who we are

Aue, aue
We set a course to find
A brand new island everywhere we roam
Aue, aue
We keep our island in our mind
And when it’s time to find home
We know the way

Aue, aue
We are explorers reading every sign
We tell the stories of our elders in a never-ending chain
Aue, aue
Te fenua, te mālie
Nā heko hakilia
We know the way

These ancient mariners lived for sailing the ocean, using the stars and the great ocean currents to chart their course. Everyone helps during the journey, in much the same way that everyone works together on Motonui. Their identity is completely bound with the ocean. After a certain length of time, the chief passes a special necklace (the same that Moana later wears) to a young warrior (possibly his son?) and the cycle of voyaging continues with that voyager building a new fleet of large ships.

The visual of the ships sailing on the ocean is a wonderfully rendered piece of animation. With the first shot of this massive catamaran coming over a wave, you can feel the weight of the ship in the water. Another favorite shot comes when the children watch dolphins jumping in front of the ships.

This is a part of her history that Moana has never heard, as her father has always maintained that her tribe has always lived on Motonui. She’s overwhelmed to learn that her ancestors were in fact voyagers (which means that her desire to travel on the ocean isn’t abnormal at all!), but this raises a whole new question: if they spent so long voyaging and were so happy doing it, why did they stop?

“We Know the Way” is a wonderful song that I always listen to when I need to feel better. It shows a people who find their identity in who they are as opposed to where they are (go back for example and listen to “Where You Are” and compare it to “We Know the Way.”)

What do you think of “We Know the Way?” Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day 🙂

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

See also:

Moana “Where You Are” (2016)

Moana “How Far I’ll Go” (2016)

Moana “How Far I’ll Go (reprise)” (2016)