Maui, a demigod, steals the mystical heart of goddess Te Fiti. The heart is a small luminous stone which has the power to create life. Maui steals it to gift it to humanity, but as he flees the island with the stone, he is attacked by a lava monster, Te Ka, causing the stone to fall from his hand and disappear into oblivion.
Centuries later, we meet Moana, the princess of a small island in Polynesia, who has a special connection with the ocean. The ocean calls out to her but her family prevents her from ever venturing out beyond the reef, for the fear of losing her. As Moana grows up, she is told that a life of being the village’s chieftain awaits her. But her heart is set on venturing out into the ocean.
The islands around them slowly begin to fade away and fall into disrepair because of the curse caused by Maui when he stole the heart. Several stories and secrets are revealed to Moana by her cooky grandmother, and they convince her that she has been chosen by the ocean to find Maui and restore the heart of Te Fiti.
Along with her pet chicken HeiHei, she sets out on the ocean to search for Maui. When she finds him, she realizes that he’s an extremely self centered, self-absorbed, egomaniac. She has to get inventive and treat him with utmost respect in order to get him to find the lost heart of Te Fiti.
Maui and Moana form a special bond; she teaches him to think about others and be generous, and he takes a liking to her, teaching her how to navigate the waters and sheltering her from all the troubles along the way. When they go to replace the heart of Te Fiti into the mother island, the lava demon Te Ka strikes again, breaking Maui’s magical hook in the battle, robbing him of all his powers.
Maui loses hope but motivates Moana to finish the task on her own and egged on by this newfound courage, she puts her skills to use and replaces the heart of Te Fiti. Goddess Te Fiti returns in full bloom and the islands around Polynesia are rid of the curse that was causing them to perish. Goddess Te Fiti even repairs Maui’s broken hook restoring his powers.