“Murdering little pirates. Wonder what they’re here for.”
―Maui, realizing the Kakamora have found them, and sarcastically says he doesn’t know what they want from him and Moana.
The Kakamora are a tribe of pirates that Moana and Maui encounter on their voyage and are the tertiary antagonists in the Disney's 2016 animated feature film Moana.
The Kakamora are a diminutive race donning armor made of coconuts. They live on a trash-and-flotsam-covered vessel that floats freely around the ocean. Known to Maui as "murdering little pirates", the Kakamora are cute in appearance, but they can be quite menacing and will relentlessly pursue materials they deem valuable.
None of the Kakamora speak or vocalize. They instead perform any communication via banging tribal drums and exhibiting frantic movement. They are led by a singular chief who is separated from the rest by his distinct headwear.
A gigantic crustacean isn't the only foes our heroes meet — they also tackle the threat of these coconut monsters. The Kakamora may be cute, but they can be quite menacing as a team. They are also the first challenge for Moana and Maui as they begin their voyage together.
According to Gramma Tala, the Kakamora were amongst the thieves and scavengers that sought ownership of the coveted heart of the mother island Te Fiti. After it was stolen by Maui, who was enlisted in the journey to return the heart a thousand years later by the plucky islander Moana, the Kakamora return to claim their prize. They attack Moana's boat, but Maui fights back with ease. However, Heihei swallows the heart, and one of the Kakamora manages to kidnap him. They take Heihei back to their ship and present him to their chief, but before they can extract the heart, Moana arrives and rescues her friend. The Kakamora battle Moana and are rather easily defeated (during which their captain is accidentally shot by a Kakamora with a dart and is paralyzed), allowing her to return to her boat. Maui uses his master talent for sailing to make a narrow escape, and in an attempt to corner Moana's boat, the three Kakamora ships face head-on collisions with one another, destroying their vessels and leaving the pirates to be lost at sea. They are not seen again or mentioned for the remainder of the film.
An illustration depicting the Kakamora.
Gramma Tala's interpretation of a Kakamora on tapestry
The Kakamora chief.
The Kakamora in a comparative storyboard, by Sunmee Joh.
The scene involving the Kakamora is said to be inspired by the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road.
In early versions of the story, the Kakamora were more comedic. As the filmmakers wanted to raise the stakes, however, they were rewritten to serve as a serious threat to Moana's life.
One of the Kakamora's faces is painted with Baymax's face.
Kakamora are creatures from the mythology of Solomon Islands, where they are described as quite harmless, but sometimes they have been known to attack men. When they do so they use their fingers, which are furnished with long sharp nails with which they stab. They wander about the forest eating nuts, ripe fruit, and opossums: the last they are fond of. They live in holes and caves, and sometimes in banyan trees. They have a language, but not like Melanesian languages.