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Tamatoa

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Villain Overview
The power of creation....... for a crustacean!!
~ Tamatoa planning to steal the heart of Te Fiti.
♪You will die, die, die!♪♪
~ Tamatoa beating Maui with joy.

Tamatoa is the secondary antagonist of Disney's 56th full-length animated feature film, Moana. He is a greedy, ruthless, diabolical, manipulative, and selfish giant crab who loves to collect valuable objects to himself.

He was voiced by Jemaine Clement who also played Nigel, Boris the Animal, and Fleshlumpeater.

Personality

TamatoaWin

Tamatoa taking pleasure in hurting Maui.

Tamatoa is dubious, unpredictable, possibly insane, and endowed with boundless arrogance. His mood tends to shift at the drop of a hat, going from cheeky and comedic, to murderous and menacing in a mere matter of seconds. He is quite monstrous in both size and attitude, one of his most well-known traits being his sadistic, heartless, and unpleasant habit of eating anyone around him, be they humans, sea creatures, or even gods — he even admitted to eating his own grandmother. His hatred towards Maui comes from the fact that last one snatched one leg.

Tamatoa is also quirky, comical, and entertaining, though in a dark, wicked, and malevolent sense. He has a twisted sense of humor, specifically shown when he nonchalantly commented that it took a week to eat his grandmother and blamed the delay on her enormous size in a joking tone. He also takes pleasure in torturing his enemies both mentally and physically, as shown when he playfully - yet brutally - thrashed Maui across his lair, while crushing the demigod's ego at the same time. With an apparent lack of boundaries, Tamatoa has no qualms with mocking someone's dead loved one, or exposing someone's deepest insecurities to amuse himself.

Above all, Tamatoa is also extremely narcissistic, arrogant and rude in general. With a superiority complex, he views himself as beautiful, and others as irrelevant and disposable. However, this is only surface-level, which actually serves as an antithesis between Tamatoa and the film's overarching message of identity and being true to yourself: Unlike Moana, Tala, and Maui, Tamatoa does not believe in inner-beauty or "listening to your heart". Instead, he views anyone who is not physically attractive or outwardly strong as insignificant and lesser than him, albeit perfectly fit for a meal. This is his biggest flaw and ultimately causes his downfall, as he underestimated Moana's intelligence (because she is a human), which allowed her to best the villainous, loathsome, and ruthless crustacean. However, though he considers himself beautiful, he welcomes anything that will increase his power and, by extension, his social status, such as the heart of Te Fiti.

Role

Tamatoa is first seen during Gramma Tala's story concerning the mother island Te Fiti and her life-giving heart. According to Tala, many thieves and scavengers sought the heart for its power, and among these ancient entities were Tamatoa and the pirate band Kakamora, though Maui was the only one capable of actually stealing the heart. In doing so, he was banished to a desolate island, while his fishhook was lost at sea in a battle for the heart against a wrathful and destructive lava demon known as Te Kā. The fishhook would be recovered by Tamatoa, who added it to his collection of treasures.

Tamatoa and Moana

Tamatoa meeting Moana.

Later on, Maui is freed from his exile by Moana, who needs Maui to return the heart of Te Fiti to its rightful place. Maui reluctantly agrees, but needs his fishhook in order to accomplish such a goal. After defeating the Kakmora, Moana and Maui travel to Lalotai, where they find Tamatoa's lair. Moana is sent in as bait, covering herself in shiny objects to attract the crab. Tamatoa soon awakens, and examines the human that has entered his shell. Meanwhile, Maui reaches in to grab his hook, and although Tamatoa nearly notices, Moana is able to distract the crab by getting him to talk about himself through the song "Shiny". After Tamatoa brags about his shell and explains his love for all things shiny, he tries to eat Moana, only to pause when Maui reveals himself with his fishhook in hand. Tamatoa cowers in fear until he realizes Maui's hook is out of commission, crippling his ability to transform.

Tamatoa-Sing

Tamatoa singing Shiny.

Tamatoa sadistically takes advantage of this by attacking and brutally thrashing Maui about his lair. When Moana tries to stop the cruelty, Tamatoa traps her within a cage-like plant. Soon enough, Tamatoa darkens his lair and his form becomes bio-luminescent, giving him a glowing yet menacing appearance. Tamatoa also admits that he's aware of Maui's horrible childhood when his parents abandoned him as an infant, but before Tamatoa could devour Maui whole, Moana escapes her cell and creates a phony duplicate of Te Fiti's heart by using a barnacle covered in bio-luminescent algae. She calls to Tamatoa to show him the shiny prize in her possessions, and the crab immediately discards Maui in favor of his coveted treasure. He chases after Moana, who drops the glowing barnacle in a crack on the ocean floor. As Tamatoa digs for it, Moana and Maui make their escape. It isn't long before Tamatoa realizes that he has been tricked, and the enraged crustacean frantically chases after the duo. They launch themselves onto a geyser heading to the surface, and the impact of the shooting water knocks Tamatoa onto his shell, much to his dismay. Unable to move, he is left stranded on the ocean floor, asking if Moana at the very least enjoyed his song.

Moana-disneyscreencaps.com-11476

Tamatoa break the fourth wall

Tamatoa is last seen after the credits, where he is still trapped and struggling to get off his shell, but to no avail. He asks the audience for assistance, and sarcastically quips that if his name was "Sebastian" and he had a Jamaican accent, the audience would feel happy to help him out (the reference to the supporting character of the same name from Disney's The Little Mermaid).

Abilities

  • Colossal Strength: Tamatoa has an incredible strength greater than that of Maui. He defeated the mighty demi-god without difficulty and effortlessly, and he can easily dig with his clamps and demolish walls.
  • Camouflage and Bio-luminescence: Like a normal crab, Tamatoa can camouflage himself in the environment underwater or dry. In the dark Tamatoa becomes fluorescent, making himself more terrifying.
  • Immortality: Tamatoa defines himself as having no age which means that he is immortal. He was more than 1,000 years old at the time of the film.

Quotes

You're a funny looking thing, aren't you? (Moana: Don't! That's my grandma's!) I ate my grandma! And it took a week because she was actually humongous!
~ Tamatoa admitting to have eaten his grandmother while attempting to steal Moana's necklace.
Are you just trying to get me to talk about myself? Because if you are... I will gladly do so! In song form!
~ Tamatoa begins to tell Moana about himself.
Did you like the song?
~ Tamatoa asks if Moana and Maui loved his song after being knocked onto his shell by the geyser.
Shiny... I'm so shiny. Didn't help me though, did it? Still upside-down here. Just need a little push! (sighs) Can we be real? If my name was Sebastian, and I had a cool Jamaican accent, you'd totally help me. You would, you know you would!
~ Tamatoa's last words during the after-credits scene.

Trivia

  • In earlier concepts, instead of a crab, Tamatoa was conceived as a giant, headless warrior from an Oceanic myth.
  • Artist Ian Gooding compares the design of Tamatoa's upward spiraling seashell lair to the architecture of the Guggenheim museum.
  • Tamatoa breaks the fourth wall twice; first when he tells the audience to look up what a decapod is during "Shiny", and later during his after credits scene, where he asks the audience for help.
    • When Tamatoa rants during the after credits scene, he directly mentions and references Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, the Disney film that is also directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who later directed Moana.
  • Tamatoa shows himself to be absolutely heartless and bloodthirsty, as he enjoys taunting Maui over his parents who have abandoned him, and telling Moana that her grandmother is a liar.
  • Tamatoa is similar to King Louie from the 2016 Jungle Book film: both are very giant animals who have a big passion for shiny things and a desire to become as powerful as mankind.
  • Tamatoa is similar to Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, they are strong, muscular, deceptive, and narcissistic, and they love to brag about themselves.
  • Tamatoa is similiar to Smaug from The Hobbit franchise: They are both cold and sadistic, they also live in a lair full of treasures and both try to kill the protagonists.
  • He is the only villain in the film who talks and sings, as opposed to the others (who are all mute).
  • His singing voice is similar to Tim Curry and the late David Bowie.
  • Tamatoa seems to squint slightly as he asks Moana to choose an eye.
  • Tamatoa is also the only villain not to have been met on the surface.
  • Tamatoa speaks French during his song.
  • Despite being the secondary antagonist, Tamatoa only has around 5–8 minutes of screentime, which is much more than the Kakamora, but less than Te Kā.


Disney Villains

Animated Features
Queen Grimhilde | Magic Mirror | Honest John & Gideon | Stromboli | Coachman | Coachman's Minions | Monstro | T-Rex | Chernabog | Ringmaster | Ronno | Man | Tetti-Tatti | Lumpjaw | Willie | Mr. Winkie | Brom Bones | Rustlers | Headless Horseman | Lady Tremaine | Ugly Stepsisters | Lucifer | Queen of Hearts | Card Soldiers | The Walrus & the Carpenter | Captain Hook | Mr. Smee | Neverland Pirates | Maleficent | Diablo the Raven | Maleficent's Goons | Cruella De Vil | Jasper & Horace | Madam Mim | Shere Khan | Kaa | Louie | Bandar Log | Edgar Balthazar | Prince John | Sheriff of Nottingham | Sir Hiss | Captain Crocodile | Rhino Guards | Wolf Arrowmen | Trigger & Nutsy | Heffalumps & Woozles | Madame Medusa | Mr. Snoops | Brutus & Nero | Amos Slade | Chief | Horned King | Arawn | Creeper | Cauldron Born | Horned King's Guards | Gwythaints | Orddu, Orwen & Orgoch | Padraic Ratigan | Fidget | Felicia | Thugs | Bartholomew | Bill Sykes | Roscoe & DeSoto | Ursula | Flotsam & Jetsam | Glut | Percival C. McLeach | Joanna | Gaston Legume | LeFou | Monsieur D'Arque | Gaston's Buddies | Jafar | Iago | Razoul | Gazeem | Oogie Boogie | Lock, Shock & Barrel | Scar | Shenzi, Banzai & Ed | Hyena Clan | John Ratcliffe | Claude Frollo | Brutish & Oafish Guards | Frollo's Soldiers | Hades | Pain & Panic | Cerberus | Hydra | Titans (Lythos, Hydros, Pyros, Stratos & Cyclops) | Nessus | Nemean Lion | Minotaur | Shan Yu | Hayabusa | Elite Hun Soldiers | Cecil Clayton | Sabor | Clayton's Pirates | Jack-in-the-Box | Snooty Flamingos | Firebird | Kron | Bruton | Yzma | Kronk | Lyle Tiberius Rourke | Helga Katrina Sinclair | Rourke's Soldiers | Leviathan | Gantu | John Silver | Scroop | Onus | Hands | Turnbuckle | Longbourne | Fayvoon | Grewnge | Blinko | Krailoni | Hedley | Torrance | Mertock | Verne | Crex | Nathaniel Flint | Flint's Pirates | Alameda Slim | Rico | The Willies | Mr. Wesley | DOR-15 | Mike Yagoobian | Dr. Calico | Dr. Facilier | Lawrence | Facilier's Shadow | Friends on the Other Side | Mother Gothel | Stabbington Brothers | King Candy | Cy-Bugs | Sour Bill | Wynnchel & Duncan | Prince Hans | Duke of Weselton | Duke of Weselton's Bodyguards | Yokai | Mr. Yama | Dawn Bellwether | Doug Ramses | Jeese | Woolter | Ram Thug | Duke Weaselton | Te Kā | Tamatoa | Kakamora

Live-Action Movies
Long John Silver | Captain Nemo | Giant Squid | Pony Sugrue | Prince John (1952) | Barnaby | Peter Thorndyke | The Bookman | King Leonidas | Colonel Heller | Dr. Terminus | The Gogans | Charles Olympus | Bluto | Master Control Program | Sark | Ed Dillinger Sr. | Mr. Dark | Nome King | Princess Mombi | Judge Doom | Toon Patrol (Smarty, Greasy, Psycho, Wheezy & Stupid) | Neville Sinclair | Lothar | Coach Jack Reilly | Warden Nigel Snyder | Josepg Pulitzer | Delancey Brothers | Dr. Charles Hendrickson | Winifred Sanderson | Mary Sanderson | Sarah Sanderson | John Ricketts | The King and the Duke | Pap Finn | William Boone | Buldeo | John Wilkins | Tabaqui | Sergeant Harley | Juice (Blank Check) | Ranch Wilder | Injun Joe | Tony Perkis | Agent Woods | Aunt Sponge & Aunt Spiker | Rhino | Skeleton Pirates | Shark | Cruella De Vil (1996) | Alonzo | Mr. Skinner | Jean-Pierre Le Pelt | Norman Snively | Ricky King | Charlotte (Jungle 2 Jungle) | Lyle Van de Groot | Max & Thor | Beatrice Stanhope | Wilson Croft | Luanne LeSeur | Meredith Blake | Eddie Taffet | Andrei Strasser | Dr. Elliot Coleye | Dr. Claw | Lana Thomas | Principal Elliot T. Jindraike | Toy Santa | Warden Walker | Mr. Sir | Charles “Trout” Walker | Kissin' Kate Barlow | Ramsley | Paolo Valisari | Stacey Hinkhouse | Carla Santini | Lord Kelvin | General Fang | Inspector Fix | Black Scorpions | Viscount Mabrey | Ian Howe | Royal Pain | Stitches | Jadis the White Witch | Maugrim | Ginarrbrik | General Otmin | Vardan | Dr. Kozak | Jack Frost | Janice Avery | Gary Fulcher | Queen Narissa | Mitch Wilkinson | Simon Bar Sinister | Riff Raff | El Diablo | Kendall Duncan | Tiara Gold | Tess Tyler | Speckles | Miraz | Sospespian | Glozelle | Nikabrik | Hag & Werewolf | Lucinda | Oswald Granger | The Red Queen | The Knave of Hearts | Hamish Ascot | The Jabberwock | Jubjub Bird | Nizam | Morgana le Fay | Maxim Horvath | Ms. Stout | CLU 2 | Rinzler | Sab Than | Matai Shang | Tal Hajus | Jenny | Latham Cole | Butch Cavendish | Jay Fuller | Evanora | Theodora | King Stefan | King Henry | Taylor Dean | The Giantess | The Witch | The Wolf | Lady Tremaine (2015) | The Grand Duke (2015) | David Nix | Shere Khan (2016) | King Louie (2016) | Kaa (2016) | Fleshlumpeater | Bloodbottler | Giants | The King (2017)

Other Animated Movies
Br'er Fox & Br'er Bear | Elmo St. Peters | Giant Magnet | Evil Clown | Merlock | Guy Graham | Phillium Benedict | Fenwick | Kojak | Ivan Krank | Von Talon | Cufflingk & Underlingk | Kazar | The Supervisor | Mr. Whiskers | Were-Rat | Shelley | Colossus | Nassor | Edgar Gore | Toshiaki | Mr. Burgermeister | Ripslinger | Cad Spinner

Pixar
Sid Phillips | Hopper | Molt | Thumper | Stinky Pete | Al McWhiggin | Emperor Zurg | Zurg Empire (Zurg Bots, Warp Darkmatter, Hornets, Brain Pods & Grubs) | Henry J. Waternoose III | Randall Boggs | Jeff Fungus | Syndrome | Mirage | Omnidroids | Underminer | Bomb Voyage | Chick Hicks | Chef Skinner | AUTO | Charles Muntz | Alpha | Beta & Gamma | Lotso | Lotso's Gang (Ken, Big Baby, Stretch, Chunk, Sparks, Twitch & Monkey) | Miles Axlerod | Zundapp | Grem | Acer | Mor'du | Johnny Worthington III | Chet Alexander | Roar Omega Roar | Thunderclap | Pterodactyls | Bubbha | Velociraptors

Sequels
Abis Mal | Sa'Luk | Forty Thieves | Forte | Jesters | Zira | Nuka | Vitani | Outsiders | Morgana | Undertow | Cloak & Dagger | Bradley Uppercrust III | Tank | The Gammas | Buster | Reggie | Sarousch | Pom-Pom | Jacques von Hämsterviel | Reuben | Leroy | Erik Hellstrom | Lil' Lightning | Lord Qin | Atka | Dixie | Mama Gunda | Uto & Kago | Marina Del Rey

Shorts and Comics
Peg Leg Pete | Kat Nipp | Mad Doctor | H. U. Hennessy | Big Bad Wolf | Captain Katt | Mortimer Mouse | Ajax the Gorilla | Beagle Boys | Flintheart Glomgold | Magica De Spell | Grace Goodwin

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