The new Overwatch 2 tank Mauga has an emote harkening to The Rock’s character Maui from Moana… But how blatant is it? You’re welcome.
Look, real talk: The only thing anyone can say upon seeing the new Overwatch tank, Mauga, is that he looks like a certain Disney character. And while our mini-gun toting strongman is legally distinct enough from Maui (played by fellow Samoan The Rock in the animated feature Moana), the comparisons are... easy. Maybe too easy, as we discovered this afternoon a strong connection between Mauga and his Moana counterpart, Maui.
Come on, you know Blizzard had to do it to em.
Mauga, Maui, Moana, and you
Yes, it's true: Mauga has an emote that very much channels the energy of Maui from Moana. Why not? We all love cute references and, if folks are gonna make them no matter what, why not do it? It does speak to the fact that the people of the world have an expectation when it comes to Samoan culture and its representation in media. Heck, I know that better than anyone. I've been a wrestling fan since the age of eight and performers of Samoan heritage are all over pro wrestling.
That said, it is a bit easy to see where Mauga and the design influence comes from, if not directly from Maui and Moana. The in-game emote where Mauga flashes a toothy grin and spouts the famous line doesn't help matters.
However, and in in defense of Blizzard, this is something they've done with regularity throughout the years. World of Warcraft is rife with references to both real-world and known fictional characters. This includes Mr. T, a Paris Hilton-spoofing elf, a group making fun of PETA, and way, way more.
But, hey: I'm no lawyer, so who knows if this is something Disney cares about. I suppose when you're the biggest IP holder in the world you just have to get used to people spoofing you. Regardless, the Mauga "You're Welcome" emote is in the game and, yes, we will be spamming it non-stop.
After all, what else can they say but "you're welcome"?
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