OK, so, all credit goes to Tumblr user bouncingbumble for this amazing theory. First up, in both Moana and the Lord of the Rings films, there's a small and powerful token that belongs to a powerful being.
Bouncingbumble told BuzzFeed News they first noticed the similarities between the two films after reading another Tumblr theory about the effect the Heart of Te Fiti had on Grandma Tala.
"The Heart had basically had the same (just way less sinister) effect on Tala as the Ring had had on Bilbo," they said. " Once that parallel was established, other similarities between the Ring and the Heart, Frodo and Moana, started coming out of the woodwork."
They added that there was one big difference: the moral alignment of the Heart versus the Ring.
"The Ring was straight up Evil, no moral gray areas to be found, as was Sauron," They said. "The Heart, though, seems to be integral to Te Fiti’s goodness, who [spoilers] I’d still hesitate to call properly evil even when she’s a justifiably pissed off lava demon."
The ring is then taken by a flawed hero, who did not truly understand what they were getting in for.
The hero is defeated and loses the token into the water.
An eccentric mortal then comes into possession of the item, keeping it for many years.
They pass it on to a younger relative, before their health immediately starts to deteriorate.
The young hero is cute, dark-haired, and doe-eyed.
They wear the token on a necklace.
And set out to find someone else to take the token.
But end up having to carry out the quest themselves.
They are faced with countless obstacles and danger on their journey.
And make their way to a volcano, where they face their greatest challenge.
Before finally return the token to its rightful source.
But wait! There's more! Both feature hometowns that are extremely idyllic and isolated from the rest of the world...
Giant birds of prey...
And boats sailing off into the sunset.
It's 👏 the 👏 same 👏 dang 👏 movie 👏.
Basically, Moana is The Lord of the Rings but without the evil.