We know that all movies change a lot, but it’s still shocking to think that Moana, whose role as the eventual leader of her people was central to the movie, was once supposed to have six older brothers.
Seriously, six older brothers is too many. Also, was Moana’s culture supposed to be matriarchal? Because it definitely seemed—based mostly on how her father and paternal grandmother acted—like she was inheriting the role of leader from her father. So it was passed down to the oldest kid, whatever gender.
That many older brothers would have just made Moana a regular-old Disney princess and taken away a lot of the richness of her character. Plus, as is pointed out in this video from Yahoo!, this deleted scene shows her to be a proficient sailor. And learning to sail from Maui was another important touch in the finished movie.
Watch the scene below and marvel at how radically Moana changed.