Sobrex and Mulan – Are They Representations of Hope or Fear?
There is a great deal of hype surrounding Moana Mountain in South Oahu, Hawaii. While the giant Polynesian sculpture is an all-time favorite, it seems many visitors are simply drawn to Moana in real life. The waterway between Moana and Pali was chosen by Moana in honor of her deceased father. So what did Moana mean to the people that settled on the land after her dad died?
For many visitors to Moana, the island means more than just “apple of our eye.” The real reason why most visitors come here is because Moana Mountain rests at the very center of the island. It is steeped in history and symbolism. The sun, sea, sand and waves form a perfect picture of Hawaiian life.
The first phase of the story takes place almost exactly twenty-one years before Moana arrives on the shores of Waikiki. King Kamehameha II sends his troops into Saipan, where they pillage the villages and take as many “auspicious” treasures as they can find. Among the treasures the troops plundered were those of the powerful Histrari (chieftains) of Moai. When the war finally ends, Moai realizes he has to return to rebuild the kingdom, which was broken by his evil brother, Kapahuale. This time, Moai has to recruit some new recruits to help him defeat the enemy: Teeklai, a warrior from the Southern Islands and former aide to the kanji; Teeklai’s son Waimo and his wife Luana.
The first battle that Moana and her newfound friends have to fight takes place on the beach between the Pali Coast and the Golden Gate Bridge. Moana has arrived on time to help her new friends. Teeklai and Waimo have remained on dry land, and are wary of Moana and her powerful magic. However, Teeklai attacks her, while she is inspecting a broken boat for repairs. Before Moana can stop him, Teeklai has a sword stuck in his ribs. Then suddenly, a giant sea snake appears from the water, grabs Waimo by the throat and brings him to the bottom of the ocean.
Once Moana regains consciousness, she finds herself in the arms of a huge Parrot-like creature who informs her that she is to wed Aladdin, the prince of the Sands, if she wishes to be married. Moana immediately knows that she is to marry Porcoline, but the Parrot tells her that Aladdin will agree to marry her only if she agrees to learn the secret of how to fly over the desert. Now Moana is in serious trouble. She apologizes to Aladdin for her failure and begs him not to marry her unless Porcoline agrees to help her learn to fly.
Aladdin agrees to help Moana, but first he must learn to control his fire. He does this by practicing on a device called the Sobrex, which helps him to change the color of his fire, from orange to blue and back again. When Aladdin reaches level twenty-three, however, the Sobrex no longer works and Aladdin has to use his newly learned skill of flying to complete his task. After Aladdin has finally conquered the city of Agrabah, Moana appears to wish them both a nice vacation. Aladdin and Moana then leave to return to Aladdin’s house, where Moana transforms into a frog.
Although it may seem strange that Aladdin uses the Sobrex to transform into a frog, in truth the device was designed for Aladdin to learn the secret of flying while wearing his mask, which only Porcoline knows, and it worked perfectly. The story then goes on to tell how Aladdin and Moana fall in love, and Aladdin learns that the prince had planned a lavish vacation for everyone, except himself, but before he could enter the kingdom, he needs to complete his task of conquering Agrabah. With the help of Mojo and his newly acquired sword, Aladdin defeats Jafar and permanently steals the magic lamp, restoring Aladdin to his normal state.
It is therefore safe to assume that Aladdin is a representative of a new kind of power, the kind that people aspire to gain, as Aladdin uses the Sobrex to transform into a frog so that he can fly away and reach the palace of his dreams. However, even though Aladdin represents change, there is always a chance that he will fail. As one of the Disney Princesses, it is safe to assume that Disney, like Disneyland, considers the change to be both inevitable and exciting. Despite occasional heavy handedness by the Disney Corporation, the popularity of its animated shows and characters has always rebounded. The success of Mulan, the live action version of Mulan, also indicates that although Disney may not always be able to please everybody, they still have the ability to shape the way that children’s culture continues to evolve.