I'm never going to get good with photoshop, but hey I tried *Shrugs*
Several people have made their own design for how they wished Maui looked, so here is Moana and my own design of Maui. I made sure to ensure Maui isn't completely thin, but I made sure he matched his mythological design. I'm not going to lie, as far as character designs go, Moana looks amazing. There are certain subtleties, such as an upper lip that is permanently pursed upward that distinguishes her from other Disney CGI heroines. Amusingly enough, she has the biggest feet of any animated Disney heroine.
Totally not hating on Disney's Maui (Think he's totally cool), but I’ll admit that I’ve been a Māui fan-girl from the moment I met my friend Angel (Who is Tahitian in origin). What’s not to love about the archetypal trickster kupua of Polynesia? Nobody’s saying Maui, that most rascally and famous of the Polynesian kupua, isn’t strong. He beat the Sun into submission with nothing more than a jawbone and yanked the Hawaiian Islands out from the bottom of the ocean. So yes, Maui’s strong. But big? Not so much. Maui’s got four older, bigger brothers, and he’s constantly hiding and sneaking around. He’s the youngest, and cheeky, so honestly, he's not a big man. In Polynesian Mythology, Maui is a skinny, handsome lithe teenager on the verge of manhood.
In fact Angel confessed to me, after watching the teaser trailer, “I'm going to admit that because Dwayne the Rock Johnson was voicing Māui, I actually expected him to be hot?” I myself also expected that Māui would be beautiful. Not a stick figure thin blond Prince Charming beautiful, but beautiful in the way like the men in Angel's family effortlessly are.
As I've mentioned before Maui's movie design was a let down, especially for someone who has grown up hearing the myths of Maui and knowing that he has a set out look that Disney simply dismissed. Disney made up for his design only by the fact that he is a such a strongly-developed character. Disney themselves mentioned that they designed Maui in a certain way so that people would know that he 'was larger than life.' Turns out they meant literally larger than life. It's one thing to design someone larger than the stereotypical Disney Prince, but it's another to design someone with the chest of a body builder, legs to short to be natural and biceps bigger than his co-stars waist. Besides it's not the first time people have expressed dislike of a Disney characters appearance, I mean look at what people say about the Beast's human form and others have redesigned him too.
Angel mentioned that she found it annoying that they'd designed Maui in a stereotypical 'Sidekick/Mentor' design, you know from the moment you see him that he isn't going to be Moana's love interest. And we wondered what he'd look like if he didn't have that design, so I decided to make an image that looks a lot more realistic to his mythology than what they did in the movie, and in this design he lacks that 'round-mentor-not-a-love-interest' look. It would've been cool if Disney designed him like this and still have Moana and Maui part ways as friends, that would send a great message to kids that not every Disney Princess hooks up with the hot guy.