Ethen of the Sideways has created a fascinating visual essay that analyzes the manner in which Disney has and has not effectively utilized language to establish the environment of the story. Stating that either meaning or melody has to change when a song is translated from one language into another, Ethen shows how Disney hit the sweet spot in Moana with the song “We Know the Way”
…actually using music as a way to facilitate a method of communication between the represented culture on screen and a suggested culture of the audience. so ‘We Know the Way’ begins in Tokelau, in but unlike any of the other pieces of original music we’ve seen so far ‘We Know the Way’ the way translates to English midway while trying to maintain a consistent musical structure.
“We Know The Way” (From Moana)