Tamatoa’s True Identity (contains Moana Spoilers*)

Hey guys!

If you couldn’t already tell from my Insta page (go follow it if you don’t already!) I am obsessed with Disney, to the point where ever since I was eleven I’ve wanted to be a Disney imagineer, the people who design the rides and write the movies. So of course this means that I spend way more time then I should watching their movies and reading the conspiracy theories people have come up with on the web. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, let me fill you in on these theories; eagle-eyed fans noticed a few years ago that almost every Disney movie has hidden easter eggs featured throughout the scenes; objects or characters from other movies that appear for split-seconds before disappearing again. These appearances have led us to believe that all Disney (and Pixar) movies take place in the same universe across different time periods,  and that one story combines them all. If you want to see the full theory, you can follow this link for the Disney theory (https://disneytheory.com) and this link for the Pixar theory (http://www.pixartheory.com). But for those of you who are experienced conspiracists, today I’ll be talking about a theory I came up with a few weeks ago- a theory where I prove that Tamatoa, the giant talking crab from Moana, is one and the same as… Well, keep reading and you’ll see.

Not long ago, I stumbled upon a SuperCarlinBrothers video (the link is here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5N5cGlvKcs) in which they claim that Tamatoa is actually the reincarnated form of Ursula. Although I believe Tamatoa is someone completely different in the Disney-verse, I used the first part of their video to prove that Tamatoa is a reincarnated spirit:

  • Tamatoa is a coconut crab

Coconut crabs a three-foot decapods (Tamatoa literally tells us to ‘look this up!’)  that have heavy armor and can live on land but also in deep water (this explains why Tamatoa can survive without ever coming to land when most crabs live at least partly on land.) Coconut crabs also enjoy stealing shiny things (duh!) and can move extremely fast. Finally, coconut crabs are known CANNIBALS, which explains why Tamatoa has no problem eating fishes, which are basically his little brothers.

  • Coconut crabs are often re-incarnated spirits

Remember how Tala, Moana’s grandmother, came back as a stingray at the end of the movie? Well this is apparently a common occurrence is Polynesian culture, and elders would often come back as animals after dying, most of them coming back as deer, dogs, and yup- coconut crabs. The name Taotao Mo’na (pronounced teo-toa-mona) means spirit of an ancient person in Chamorro, and also sounds eerily familiar to Tamatoa. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  • The place that Tamatoa is hiding, ‘The Realm Of Monsters’, was originally meant to be ‘The Realm Of Spirits’

Okay, so the place where Tamatoa is living as king was literally going to be called ‘The Realm Of Spirits’. Enough said.

And finally, if you’re still not convinced, an important piece of evidence I came up with myself…

  • Tamatoa breaks the fourth wall multiple times

Tamatoa is one of only a few Disney characters to ever break the fourth wall. Not only does he break the fourth wall, but as far as I know, he and the genie are the only ones to ever reference other Disney movies while doing it. Now, we already know that the Genie has travelled through various Disney movies (he and the magic carpet can be seen in Beauty and the Beast, then again in Princess and the Frog), so that explains how he knows about other Disney characters. But how about Tamatoa? How would he know about other Disney characters, namely Sebastian from The Little Mermaid? The only explanation is that he has been in at least one other movie in which he has heard about Sebastian.

This is where I deviate from the SuperCarlinBrothers theory. While they believe that Tamatoa knows about Sebastian because he was Ursula her/himself, I straightaway thought of another Disney villain. I thought of….


Though this may seem like a very random connection, there are so many Easter eggs hidden out through Tamatoa’s scenes that led me to this conclusion, so I’ve listed just a few below.

  • Firstly, how does Captain Hook know about The Little Mermaid?

I believe Captain Hook found out about The Little Mermaid through Wendy herself. If you think about it, it makes sense; Peter Pan loved to listen to listen to Wendy tell stories through her window, so much so that he would fly back and tell the Lost Boys the tales he had heard. On a small island like Neverland, news must travel fast; and it makes sense that on island starved for fairy tales, these stories would reach everyone on the island, even the pirates themselves. Although the movie The Little Mermaid itself came out way after Peter Pan, if we’ve learned anything from the Disneyverse it’s that the timeline isn’t exactly linear, and therefore Wendy could still have heard of Ariel’s story, a story which would have then reached Captain Hook.

  • Why does Tamatoa break the fourth wall?

Once again, this has to do with Wendy; at the beginning of Peter Pan, we see her telling her brothers all about his and Captain Hook’s exploits while Peter listens on. This means that the population of Neverland knew that back in the muggle human world they were considered a part of folklore, and so were the other stories from the Disneyverse. It makes sense, then, that Tamatoa/Hook would know that he is in a movie; he’s heard Wendy tell him about all of the books (and later movies) children read/watch about their (the Disney) universe, and therefore acknowledges the audience he knows is watching.

  • Why is Tamatoa so obsessed with shiny things?

This one’s fairly obvious – pirates like shiny things, so Tamatoa likes shiny things – the same way Hook stayed evil and grumpy in his reincarnated form, his love for treasure stayed too.

  • Why is Captain Hook living underwater?

In the SuperCarlinBrothers theory, it makes sense that Ursula lives underwater, because that’s where she belongs. But Captain Hook lived on an island, so why would he choose to live underwater when born again? The answer to this lies in exactly how Captain Hook died; by being eaten alive by a crocodile. What if where you lived when resurrected doesn’t spend on where you lived in your past life, but where you died in your past life? If Captain Hook was eaten by a crocodile, it would make sense that he is forced to live out his afterlife in the same watery depths.

  • Tamatoa’s shiny lyrics

Once you know this song’s about Captain Hook, the song Shiny becomes a treasure-trove (no pun intended) of easter eggs. Here are some of the lyrics that prove Tamatoa is Hook:

  1. “Well Tamatoa hasn’t always been this grand, I was a drab little crab once.” Captain Hook, with his greedy hair and weirdly long mustache, is definitely what I would call drab.
  2. Like a treasure from a sunken pirate wreck, scrub the deck and make it look shiny, I will sparkle like a wealthy woman’s neck..” This whole verse basically proves my theory. I mean, a treasure from a sunken pirate wreck? Scrubbing the deck? A wealthy women’s neck? Could you be any more pirate-y?
  3. Ouch, what a terrible performance, get the hook (get it?)” GET IT? he literally asks us if we get his reference to HOOK! Of course, this could also be referring to the hook he has stolen from Maui, but I’d like to think there’s a double meaning hidden in this..
  • And finally the proof that seals the deal: The parallels between Maui and Peter Pan

Firstly, the whole reason we meet Tamatoa is because Maui needs to retrieve his hook from him. But what would Tamatoa need with a hook? He doesn’t really seem like the kind of guy who’d want a hook, or have the opposable thumbs to use one, for that matter. But what if the hook was for a nostalgic purpose? What if he wanted the hook to remind him of the glory of his former self, Captain Hook? So both Tamatoa and Captain Hook have hooks, but the similarities don’t stop there…..

Maui mentions in the movie that Tamatoa hates him because he cut off one of his hands/feet/claw thingies a long time ago. Once again, SOUND FAMILIAR? People say history has a habit of repeating itself, and that’s true in the worst way possible for Captain Hook. First his hand gets cut off by his arch-nemesis, then he gets fed to a crocodile, turns into a giant crab, and.. gets his hand cut off by his arch-nemesis. That’s gotta suck.

But here’s another similarity between Maui and Peter. People often wonder how Tamatoa knew that Maui had been abandoned by his parents as a baby, when Maui hasn’t told even the people closest to him. But if history has a way of repeating itself, then Hook would only have to draw on what he knew had already happened to Peter Pan.. As a baby, both characters were abandoned by their parents, going on to leading a group of people that loved them and made them feel wanted. And if that hasn’t convinced you, I don’t know what will.

What do you think? Could Tamatoa be the reincarnated version of Captain Hook? Have you spotted any other easter eggs in Moana? Leave your thoughts in the comment section, and don’t forget to follow my blog!

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