In the 2016 Disney animated film Moana, the demigod Maui steals the heart of Te Fiti, the mother island. This act sets in motion the film’s central conflict and quest. But why exactly did Maui take the heart in the first place? In this comprehensive article, we will examine the motivations behind Maui’s fateful decision.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Maui stole Te Fiti’s heart in an attempt to give humans the power of creation and to earn praise and validation for doing so. However, this impulsive act unleashed chaos, requiring the ocean to choose Moana to make things right again.

Maui’s Backstory and Personality

Maui felt unloved and unwanted as a child

Understanding Maui’s backstory helps shed light on why he would resort to stealing the heart of Te Fiti. As a demigod, Maui faced rejection and feelings of being unloved from a young age. According to Polynesian mythology, he was abandoned by his parents and left to be raised by the gods. This early experience of abandonment and not belonging may have contributed to Maui’s desire to prove himself and seek validation through his actions.

Maui craves adoration and praise

Maui’s need for adoration and praise is evident throughout his character arc. His desire for recognition and validation is a driving force behind many of his actions, including the theft of Te Fiti’s heart. In the film “Moana,” Maui sings the song “You’re Welcome,” in which he boasts about his accomplishments and expects gratitude from others. This need for affirmation stems from his deep-seated insecurities and his longing to be loved and accepted.

Maui acts impulsively without considering consequences

One of the defining aspects of Maui’s personality is his impulsiveness. He often acts without fully considering the consequences of his actions, leading to unintended negative outcomes. This is evident in his decision to steal the heart of Te Fiti, as he was driven by his desire to be seen as a hero and savior. However, his impulsive decision ultimately leads to the release of the destructive lava demon, Te Ka, and the subsequent imbalance in the world. Maui’s impulsive nature highlights the importance of thinking through the potential consequences before acting.

Maui’s backstory and personality provide valuable insights into his motivations and actions. By understanding his deep-seated need for love and validation, as well as his impulsive nature, we can better comprehend why he would resort to stealing the heart of Te Fiti. It is important to note that the character of Maui is fictional and based on Polynesian mythology. For more information on Polynesian mythology, you can visit or

Te Fiti’s Heart Represents the Power of Creation

Te Fiti, a powerful and benevolent deity in Polynesian mythology, possessed a heart that symbolized the power of creation. According to legend, Te Fiti used her heart to weave the islands of the Pacific Ocean, filling the world with life and beauty. The heart, glowing green and pulsating with energy, represented the essence of creation itself.

Te Fiti created all islands with her heart

Using her heart, Te Fiti brought forth an array of stunning islands, each with its own unique ecosystem and inhabitants. From the lush rainforests to the turquoise waters surrounding the islands, Te Fiti’s creations were a testament to her incredible power and imagination. The heart acted as a source of life-giving energy, nurturing the land and its creatures.

Humans lacked the power to create life

While humans marveled at the beauty of Te Fiti’s creations, they themselves lacked the ability to create life. They could only observe and admire the wonders that surrounded them. The power of creation remained beyond their reach, leaving them in awe of Te Fiti’s abilities.

Maui saw an opportunity to gift creation to humans

Maui, a mischievous and skilled demigod, recognized the longing of humans to possess the power of creation. He saw an opportunity to gift them this ability and bring joy to their lives. Maui believed that by stealing Te Fiti’s heart and bestowing it upon humanity, he could empower them to create and shape their own destinies.

It is important to note that the story of Maui stealing Te Fiti’s heart is a fictional tale, popularized by the Disney animated film “Moana.” However, the themes of creation, power, and the desire to bring joy to others are universal and resonate with audiences worldwide.

Stealing the Heart Unleashes Chaos

Maui’s decision to steal the heart of Te Fiti had catastrophic consequences for the world. Te Fiti, the goddess of creation, had her power contained within her heart. By taking her heart, Maui unleashed chaos upon the world.

Te Fiti’s heart contained her power

The heart of Te Fiti was not just an ordinary organ. It held the essence of her power to create and bring life to the world. Without her heart, Te Fiti was left powerless and unable to spread creation. The balance of nature was disrupted, and darkness began to overshadow the once thriving land.

According to, Te Fiti’s heart was a source of immense energy. It radiated with a vibrant green glow, symbolizing life and harmony. The loss of her heart meant the loss of this vital energy, resulting in a world devoid of growth and abundance.

Without her heart, Te Fiti could not spread creation

Te Fiti’s heart not only represented her power but also her ability to bring forth new life. With the heart missing, the land became barren and desolate. Plants withered away, animals disappeared, and the once beautiful landscapes turned into a wasteland.

Without Te Fiti’s heart, the world was deprived of its ability to regenerate and flourish. The absence of creation caused despair among the inhabitants, and hope seemed to fade away. It was a stark reminder of the importance of balance and the consequences of disrupting it.

Monsters arose to find the missing heart

The theft of Te Fiti’s heart did not go unnoticed. As a result, a slew of monstrous creatures emerged, determined to find the missing heart and claim its power for themselves. These creatures, known as the Kakamoras, were the first to be unleashed upon the world.

The Kakamoras were relentless in their pursuit of Te Fiti’s heart and would stop at nothing to retrieve it. Their presence added another layer of chaos and danger to an already troubled world. Their actions served as a reminder that every action has consequences, and the theft of the heart had far-reaching effects beyond what Maui had anticipated.

The story of Maui stealing the heart of Te Fiti serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of our actions. It reminds us of the delicate balance that exists within our world and the importance of respecting and preserving it. It also teaches us the value of empathy and understanding, as the consequences of our actions can impact not only ourselves but also the world around us.

Moana Chosen by the Ocean to Restore the Heart

When Maui stole the heart of Te Fiti, the ocean recognized the imbalance it caused in the world. The ocean, a sentient being in the movie “Moana,” chose Moana as the one to restore the heart and bring back order. The ocean’s choice was not arbitrary; it saw something in Moana that made her uniquely suited for this task.

The ocean recognizes the imbalance caused by Maui

The ocean, being a vital force of nature, is acutely aware of the delicate balance that exists in the world. When Maui, a demigod, stole the heart of Te Fiti, he upset this balance. The absence of the heart caused chaos and darkness to spread, threatening the existence of life itself. The ocean, being connected to all things, sensed this disturbance and sought to restore order.

Moana is uniquely suited to convince Maui

Moana, the chosen one, possessed qualities that set her apart from others. She had an unwavering determination, a strong sense of purpose, and a deep connection to the ocean. These attributes made her the perfect candidate to convince Maui to return the stolen heart. The ocean recognized Moana’s bravery, resilience, and ability to see the good in others, even when they had lost their way. It believed that she could help Maui rediscover his true purpose and restore the heart to its rightful place.

Their journey restores Te Fiti’s heart and order

Throughout their perilous journey, Moana and Maui faced numerous challenges and obstacles. They encountered dangerous creatures, treacherous waters, and their own doubts. However, their unwavering determination and belief in the greater good propelled them forward. As they grew closer and learned from each other, they began to understand the true power of love, selflessness, and the importance of restoring balance.

Ultimately, it was Moana’s unwavering faith in herself and her ability to connect with Maui on a deeper level that convinced him to return the heart. Together, they were able to restore Te Fiti’s heart, bringing back order and restoring the balance in the world. Their journey not only saved their people but also taught them valuable lessons about the power of love, courage, and the importance of preserving the natural order.


In summary, Maui’s impulsive act of stealing Te Fiti’s heart was driven by his desire for human praise and adoration. This fateful decision disrupted the balance of creation, unleashing chaos until Moana’s journey restored order. Examining Maui’s motivations provides deeper insight into this pivotal turning point in the story of Moana.

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