The Kakamora
Tamatoa the Crab

Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 1
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 2
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 3
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 4
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 5
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 6

WARNING: If you have not seen the movie yet, the remainder of this post is full of spoilers. I had to assume that readers had already seen the movie in order to write it.




Obviously, since this is a movie meant to honor and wow all Polynesian people, Disney played the safe card. In the lore of some Polynesian peoples, there really are small evil creatures called Kakamora. However, they are said to live on land, in the more overgrown areas, where they can hide. In their description, I am reminded of other stories of tricky, selfish creatures such as leprechauns and fairies.The kakamora are reputed to hide what they look like by wearing coconut shells.  Obviously, some extrapolation of this folklore was needed for the film. So here we go again with pirate boogeymen theme. Disney gives us its version of the stereotypical tropical enemy invaders who just happen to be a very fictitious force from a nonexistent fantasy island. How convenient. It wouldn’t do to make anyone from “Oceana” the bad guy, when you’re trying to make all Polynesians happy with your movie. But the truth remains that if there was or is any warring to be done, it was amongst us islanders or and is amongst us humans ourselves (James 4:1, Mosiah 29:40).


The rocks have evil faces, Lord

As a symbol, the Kakamora might also represent what we must face during this mortal sojourn on earth. Here we are, voyaging amid the dark vicissitudes of the telestial degree of glory, complete with all the adversity and seemingly senseless stuff that comes with it. But it must be so. Otherwise there would be no test (Abraham 3:25. Source for meme just below). Elder D Todd Christofferson taught,

“Exercising agency in a setting that sometimes includes opposition and hardship is what makes life more than a simple multiple-choice test. God is interested in what you are becoming as a result of your choices. He is not satisfied if your exercise of moral agency is simply a robotic effort at keeping some rules. Your Savior wants you to become something, not just do some things. He is endeavoring to make you independently strong—more able to act for yourself than perhaps those of any prior generation. You must be able to be righteous, even when He withdraws His Spirit, or, as Brigham Young said, even “in the dark…



… Using your agency to choose His will, and not slackening even when the going gets hard, will not make you God’s puppet; it will make you like Him. God gave you agency and Jesus showed you how to use it so that eventually you could learn what They know, do what They do, and be what They are.( 31 Jan 2006, BYU devotional)


Obviously, this is Satan, but quite a passive and paled-down version of the Adversary. Content to just sit in a cave by himself and not wander the great ocean? Content to live on an island all his own that is completely conquered, too?  Happy to be completely surrounded by monsters just like him? With fish meals just falling in his lap, and constantly, without any strenuous hunting, ensnaring predation on his part? I don’t think so. The reality is that this fallen angel, Lucifer, rages upon the earth, walking to and fro, seeking whomever he can entrap and entwine himself into, like a parasite. The more, the better.

I did like the symbolism of the crab and crab shell. Crabs are non-kosher for a reason. These creatures are death-eating bottom-feeders, which means that, by virtue of their location and biology, they survive by eating whatever little pieces of corpse fall down to them.  They are the living undersea garbage, sewage and mortuary system: eating it all up, yum yum!  It is also true that crabs use their shell for camouflage, so they become expert at the collecting and amassing of stuff to both hide from their enemies and to attract prey. I learned awhile back that this is one of the primary choices that mortals have to make while on this earth, the choice between life and stuff.

There are two things that are eternal: matter and intelligence (or, light and truth). Only one of these has life. Only one of these acts and is not acted upon. The sad truth is that most people choose lifeless matter (Mormon 8:39)… and Lucifer sure likes it when we do. I also liked the symbolism of the fact that of all Tamatoa’s treasures, the one crowned “king of the hill” was the hijacked fishhook. Satan really does feel that he rules the world, and what better symbol than a stolen authority which is not his at all.


The truth is that in the end, the devil will be like Tamatoa – bound and helpless. And we will gaze at the wreck of him and wonder why he ever held such power (Isaiah 14:10-17).  Like Lucifer – fully illustrating his envy to the very end as he did in the very beginning – the last time we see Tamatoa he is bemoaning the fact that he is not somebody else. If only he could be somebody else, with their powers and faculties, he would be in control. Despite all of his experiences, he has learned nothing from them. His attitude prevents him from learning anything, and besides, he prefers anything but the truth. Tamatoa has thus damned himself of his own free will and choice.

As an interesting side note: Moana bruised her heel on entrapping coral. Maui’s heel was bruised by Tamatoa himself. Heihei got bruised all over in the hold of the ship. (See Moses 4:19-21). Wow.  I keep being amazed by this movie, and how it ever got into this final form! This, despite all the Disney “cooks in the kitchen”, and hundreds of them. This movie is a beautiful masterpiece with Christ shining out from everywhere, despite the scrutiny of Disney executives!  It’s an absolute and utter miracle to me. Parables truly are powerful (Matthew 13:13-15, Mark 4:34).

A few scriptures came to my mind with the lyrics to Tamatoa’s song, called Shiny. I decided to take a closer look at them. It’s been kind of interesting to me that the lyricist knew the nature of evil so well. Like I have, he must have had some experience with it.

Did your granny say, “Listen to your heart”?” Be who you are on the inside”?
I need three words to tear her argument apart: Your granny lied!
Compare to MOSES 5:13, 1 Nephi 8:33-34

I will sparkle like a wealthy woman’s neck.
Compare to MOSES 5:29, NEHEMIAH 9:16, D&C 113:9-10, 2 Nephi 13:16

Fish are dumb, dumb, dumbThey chase anything that glitters: Beginners!
Oh, and here they come, come, come to the brightest thing that glittersMmm, fish dinners!
Compare to Ezekiel 34. Also, Alma 39:14, D&C 68:31, 3 Nephi 6:14-16, Genesis 25:31-33, Alma 41:5, 2 Nephi 28:21, Ecclesiastes 9:12, Habbakuk 1, Psalm 105:29

I just love free food and you look like seafood! Compare to D&C 122:7

You little semi-demi-mini-god! Here is a lie and a half lie.
Compare to Moses 1:10, 16,  Mosiah 2:21-24, Mosiah 4:11-12, 1 Nephi 11:17 = Moses 1:39

Yet I have to give you credit for my start Compare to Moses 4:3-6

And your tattoos on the outside, for just like you I made myself a work of art.
Here Tamatoa is equating himself as equal to man [lie!], with a heart just like man [lie!], where nothing on the inside (character, virtue, etc) matters. He is saying that his outside ornamentation covering the soul of a death-eating scavenger, yes, his whited sepulcher is the same as Maui’s record of seemingly external acts (Matthew 23:27). Maui may have thought the glory was all his, but the truth remains that the things he brags of are the feats of God. Remember that I liken Maui’s tattoo to how the scriptures record the good works of God. But, of course, Tamatoa’s decorated emptiness is the opposite of God’s remembrances to us of his love. Furthermore, Maui does not decorate himself!  The tattoos appear on their own, much like the countenance of a good man reflects a lifetime of good deeds done out of love for God and fellow men (Mosiah 2:17). The truth is that Maui’s tattoos are the very opposite of self-aggrandizement (Mark 11:13, Jacob 5:48, Zechariah 7:10, 1 Samuel 16:7).

Send your armies but they’ll never be enough
Another lie.  Compare to Revelation 12:11, 2 Nephi 9:19, 26.

My shell’s too tough, Maui manYou could try, try, try but you can’t expect a demigod
to beat a decapod (Look it up). You will die, die, die!
Compare to Ephesians 4:19, Moroni 9:20, Helaman 16:15, 22, JSH 1:16, Moses 1:20.
Demigod vs decapod: Deut 14:9-10, Rev 18:14-17, Exodus 36:8, Genesis 9:2. Pearls come from crustaceans and shellfish were the only ancient source for the color purple. I looked it up here, you lying Tamatoa!

C’est la vie, mon amie! Compare to Alma 30:16-17

Now I’ll eat you so prepare your final plea, just for me.
Compare John 18:37, Matthew 10:28, Mosiah 17:9-10, 15-20, Moroni 1:2-3, 

You’ll never be quite as shiny See Moses 4:3, Moses 7:26
I would like to be like Moana, to keep surprising my Tamatoa; refuting his inflated, narcissistic belief that he has the perfected the method to my entrapment and that I cannot escape from him (2 Nephi 9:10).

I would like to be like Moana, innocent and unhurt… or forgiven and healed… despite any deliberate journey into Lalotai, the realm of monsters AND despite any deliberate journey of Lalotai to me (Psalm 23:5, Hosea 2:15, Isaiah 65:10, Alma 14:11, Luke 16:25, 2 Timothy 4:7).

I would like to be like Moana, who, through enduring any horrors of Lalotai, gains experience from every encounter. Just like Tamatoa learns from his experience with man, I have an intelligence too, and I choose light, truth, and right (D&C 93:28)!  I choose sweet not bitter (James 3:11, Moroni 7:11-14)! I choose liberty, not captivity (2 Nephi 2:27)! And God will be with me, for better or for worse, when I choose these things (Proverbs 3:5, Luke 12:31).

Like Moana, I want to use all my experiences, even the bad ones. Enabled through the grace of God because it is the will of God if I so choose it, I can escape from that demon and to help others to do so too (Moses 5:9). I can have freedom from bondage. I can have peace and rest.


A dead crab

The most fascinating and telling thing to me, of all the traits of Tamatoa, is how badly he wanted the Heart of Te Fiti. He dropped everything. His total attention and desire was fixed upon obtaining that which is not his, but thinks should be; that which he is not fit, not worthy to have, much less approach, yet believes himself to be the equal of: The Heart of Te Fiti.  In the bright light of this Heart, Tamatoa is fully illuminated beyond his own poor phosphorescence. His self-blinding pride, enmity-encrusted empty envy and consuming covetousness -in the face of the Heart – expose him for what he really is.

Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 1
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 2
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 3
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 4
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 5
Moana – A Parable of Christ – Part 6   NEXT

NOTICE TO ARTISTS: I draw with words, but most people still want to see pictures, and I do not own any images.  Wherever possible, I have tried to turned to fan art and merchant art, rather than Disney, for illustrations.  If you would like an image removed, please contact me. I will take your art down immediately.