|Title||Tamatoa, Crab Cake (by Maui)|
|Family||Unnamed grandmother (deceased)|
|Enemies||Maui, Moana Waialiki|
Tamatoa is the secondary antagonist of Disney's 2016 animated feature film Moana.
Tamatoa is a 50-foot coconut crab. His shell is both blue and red, bordering on purple, he has two wide, serrated pincers, orange-brown, and one of his legs is broken off above the shin, a result of a past fight with Maui. He has two long feelers growing from his head, blue and black, and his eyes are yellow with blue irises and long eyelashes, making him appear slightly effeminate. He has very human-looking teeth, coated in barnacles, and his shell is covered both in shiny treasure and bioluminescent algae, so that in the dark, he glows neon blue and pink.
Tamatoa is unpredictable and possibly insane. His mood tends to shift at the drop of a hat, going from cheeky and comedic, to murderous and menacing in a mere matter of seconds. He's quite monstrous in both size and attitude, one of his most well-known traits being his sadistic habit of eating anyone around him, be they humans, sea creatures or even gods—he even admitted to eating his own grandmother.
Tamatoa also has a twisted sense of humor, specifically shown when he nonchalantly commented that it took a week to eat his grandmother and blamed the delay on her enormous size in a dry tone. He also takes pleasure in torturing his enemies both mentally and physically, as shown when he playfully - yet brutally - thrashed Maui across his lair, while crushing the demigod's ego at the same time. With an apparent lack of boundaries, Tamatoa has no qualms with mocking someone's dead loved one, or exposing someone's deepest insecurities to amuse himself.
Above all, Tamatoa is extremely narcissistic. With a superiority complex, he views himself as beautiful, and others as irrelevant and disposable. This is only surface-level, however, which actually serves as an antithesis between Tamatoa and the film's overarching message of identity and being true to yourself: Unlike Moana, Tala and Maui, Tamatoa does not believe in inner-beauty or "listening to your heart". Instead, he views anyone who is not physically attractive or outwardly strong as insignificant and lesser than him, albeit perfectly fit for a meal. This is his biggest flaw and ultimately causes his downfall, as he underestimated Moana's intelligence (because she's a human), which allowed her to best the villainous crustacean. Though he considers himself beautiful, however, he welcomes anything that will increase his power and, by extension, his social status, such as the heart of Te Fiti.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Immense Strength: With his massive size and body weight, Tamatoa possess incredible physical strength that eclipses the raw strength of a demigod. When Maui was stripped of his fish hook's power, Tamatoa was able to mercilessly attack the former with ease. Being a coconut crab, his claws are also extremely powerful, though the magnitude of what they can destroy had not been explored.
Bioluminescence: When in pitch darkness, Tamatoa undergoes a physical transformation in the form of a trait called bioluminescence. This is found in real deep sea creatures (including some crustaceans) and allows Tamatoa's body and the shiny objects hoarded on his shell to emit a neon, glowing light. His pupils, irises and scleras, meanwhile, can change color by alternating from vibrant and alarming pinks and blues. ◾Camouflage: By using the hoard of gold upon his shell, Tamatoa can perfectly disguise himself to appear as an inanimate mountain of treasures until he chooses to reveal himself. He mainly uses his shiny shell as a hunting tactic, luring unsuspecting fish from the surrounding ocean straight into his mouth, among other prey. When bioluminescent, Tamatoa can perform counter-illumination, meaning he can manipulate the neon light of his body to match the darkness of his lair, completely camouflaging his form. Only Tamatoa's teeth and eyes can be seen in this form, when grinning and when they're open, respectively.
Eternal Youth: Tamatoa is more than a thousand years old at the height of the film, as he knew Maui before his exile. He shows no signs of aging and proves to be in excellent shape.
Fourth Wall Awareness: Possibly due to his state of mind, Tamatoa is seemingly aware he lives in a fictional world. While torturing Maui, he asks the audience to look up the definition of a "decapod," then later asks them for help while comparing himself to Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.
Role in the Crossover Edit
Pitch Black could try to recruit Tamatoa in his war with the Guardians, disdaining the giant crab's superficial attraction to gold and shiny objects (like Rapunzel's Crown, Merida's Necklace or the Guardian Stone), but admiring his power to inspire terror in even a demigod's heart. Next to Drago Bludvist and Mor'du, the evil crustacean could be Pitch's most powerful ally.
Since both Pitch and Tamatoa have a formidable reputation in the human world, the Boogeyman would most probably seek out the giant crab to help him fight the Guardians. Since Tamatoa is an animal and a supernatural monster, he could probably see Pitch, and Pitch could use his crippling insecurity and vanity to exploit him to his side. He would not show much interest in Tamatoa's greedy and superficial love of treasure, but his physical ability to inspire fear would be of great interest to Pitch. If locked in a fight against both Jack and Maui, the two villains would gladly try to break Guardian and Demigod by taunting them about their feelings of isolation and abandonment. Pitch and Tamatoa both love to torture their opponents before they kill them.
Gothel's vanity and obsession with preserving her own youth and beauty at all costs chimes well with Tamatoa's narcissism and insecurity. As such Tamatoa would support Gothel, and by extension Pitch in their endeavours agains the Big Four. However, theirs would only be a partnership of convenience, not true friendship- Gothel would see Tamatoa as little more than a stupid animal and tool to be bribed, like the Stabbington Brothers, and Tamatoa would gladly remind her that he could rip her to pieces and eat her the moment he feels she's of no further use to him.
Because Tamatoa appears to have a wide grasp of foreign cultures (due to his wide vocabulary and ability to speak French), the chances are he has heard tales of gigantic, destructive dragons that hoard precious treasure away from the world. Therefore, he would be the first villain to approach the Red Death, scouring the massive dragon's lair in search of shiny objects to place on his shell. While he would be quickly disappointed in that respect, he would still find great value in using the Red Death as an enforcer to Pitch's team and extorting both fish and weapons from Berk both for meals and for improving the shininess of Tamatoa's shell. That said, Tamatoa and the Red Death would still probably fight over who gets the larger share from their robbery tactics.
As gigantic animals, Mor'du and Tamatoa would be Pitch's enforcers, used for his most destructive scare tactics, both of them destroying entire villages, after which Tamatoa would start scouring the remains for treasure. As both of them are exceptionally physically durable (Mor'du has nigh-impenetrable hide and Tamatoa has a solid shell), they would get along on that level. However, Mor'du would openly scorn Tamatoa for taking too much pride in his appearance, while Tamatoa would cheerfully jibe at Mor'du's physical ugliness. The two villains would consequentially spend more time fighting each other than fighting their enemies.
Since Maui and Tamatoa are both supernatural immortals, they have known each other for centuries, and have a bitter history. Originally, the demigod and the giant crab were friends, but at some point, Maui pulled off one of Tamatoa's legs (presumably it is because Tamatoa learnt about Maui's parents abandoning him and taunted him until he became enraged). Later on, Maui fought Tamatoa, and gained a tattoo commemorating his triumph over the decapod, only to lose his hook trying to make off with the Heart of Te Fiti, after which Tamatoa took possession of it. 1,000 years later, after Maui returned to Lalotai to reclaim the hook, Tamatoa was initially horrified to be reunited with his old enemy. However, his horror quickly turned to scorn upon realising that Maui had lost the knowledge of how to use the hook's powers, and he started beating the demigod up while taunting him for his weakness and his desperation to gain the love of the humans. If Maui and Tamatoa should ever meet again, they will gladly try to kill each other.
Moana initially came across Tamatoa while being sent to distract the monster as Maui reclaimed his hook, by dressing in shiny treasure and getting him to talk about himself. Tamatoa immediately began antagonising Moana shortly after confronting her, taunting her about her late grandmother Tala by telling her about how he ate his own grandmother. He quickly stated that Moana was a fool for listening to Tala's advice to be true to who she is inside, and cheerfully tortures, humiliates and finally tries to eat the chief's daughter, only for her to distract him and escape with both Maui and the hook intact. Moana views Tamatoa as no more than a self-centred monster.
Tamatoa would behave scornfully towards Hiccup, taunting his skinny build and clumsiness, and likely using his poor relationship with the other Vikings on Berk to rub salt into his wounds, while pointing out that he lost a leg once, and he got a far better deal of it than Hiccup since he still has nine more. On the other hand, if Hiccup has brought Toothless to their meeting, Tamatoa could use Hiccup's connection to dragons to try and improve his own outer beauty by finding out if Toothless can smell treasure and add it to Tamatoa's shell. Toothless, however, would refuse to help the evil crab, and would gladly blast him across the room with his fire breath.
As an animal and a supernatural being, Tamatoa could very likely see Jack and interact with him. Since his home turf of Lalotai lies underwater, Tamatoa probably has little experience with ice and snow, so he could initially fear Jack because of his power to freeze the whole of Lalotai if he got enraged enough. However, he could also taunt and abuse Jack, mocking him about his desperate desire to be believed in and seen by humans and his determination to find his "center" when Tamatoa himself believes that it's what you are on the outside that matters, not what's inside you. This would put Jack in mind of Pitch and place him on guard against the monstrous crustacean.
Tamatoa would enjoy terrorising and intimidating Moana with his massive size and formidable pincers, taking advantage of his hard outer shell to deflect the princess' arrows. He would also scorn her desperate desire for her mother to listen to her, since he ate his own family, and could sting her by reminding her that she turned her own mother into a bear. Merida, in contrast, would simply hate Tamatoa, for his monstrous nature and obsessive pride would remind her of Mor'du.
While Tamatoa would initially approve of Rapunzel's shiny hair, he would quickly start taunting the poor girl due to her naiveté and would dismiss her attempts to find a more meaningful dream than being surrounded by shiny treasures, a similar attitude once shown by Rapunzel's own husband Eugene Fitzherbert. He would most likely sympathize with Gothel instead of Rapunzel, agreeing with her that a search for constant beauty is the most important of all.