“Don't worry, it's a lot farther down than it looks.”
Lalotai is a realm inhabited by monsters that appears in the Disney2016 film Moana.
Also known as the Realm of Monsters, the entrance to Lalotai can be accessed atop a high mountain on a remote island. The passageway (a pit) leads to an undersea environment home to a number of exotic, fearsome and ferocious creatures — one of which being Tamatoa, a villainous giant crab.
To unlock Lalotai's entrance, one must perform the haka followed by a forceful ground smash. The necessary impact of the smash implies that Lalotai's entrance can only be accessed by beings with supernatural strength.
One can exit Lalotai by simply swimming to the surface, or by being blowed up by geyser - like jets of water. This will directly take you to the surface. Even monsters may be launched to the surface by water jets.
Carnivorous Plants - Monstrous plants that are the first monsters appearing in Lalotai. They appear to be diamond-shaped plants on roots that have glowing red eyes, fangs, and a very long tongue. Moana was almost eaten by one of them, but its tongue was bitten off by another carnivorous plant.
8-Eyed Bats - Hostile bats with 8 eyes that repeatedly tried to attack Moana. Maui is seen defeating one of them in "You're Welcome".
The Great Eel - A very large red eel; was slain by Maui to protect an endangered village, and had its head buried, which created the first coconut tree. It was seen during "You're Welcome".
Spiked Monster - A gargantuan being with projections of various sizes on its backs and head. Its size and weight is overwhelming; it causes rumbling of the ground by walking. This was later confirmed to be an interpretation of Marshmallow from Frozen and the resemblance to Godzilla on the movie's blu-ray release.
Sloth Monster - Being rather ominous and unpredictable, it has a sloth body with four, long arms with sharp claws. The most notable feature of this creature is it's masked face strongly resembles Polynesian tribal masks portraying two different facial structures upside down. It seemingly can rotate its head/neck. Was ejected by the geyser after approaching Moana. This was later confirmed by the directors to be Flash from Zootopia.
Other Monsters - A giant octopus and a giant hummingbird were portrayed on Maui's tattoo as some of his past accomplishments.
Lalotai is derived from two proto-Polynesian words: "lalo" means "below" and "tai" means "the sea." Together, they form a term that means "below the sea" or "under the ocean". Lalotai is also known as "the underworld".
In a deleted scene, Maui mentions that Lalotai is where monsters dwell after they've been killed, hence its nickname.
Originally, Lalotai was to be a realm inhabited by ancestral spirits, as opposed to monsters.
The creatures found in Lalotai were inspired by real deep sea fish, as well as creatures from Maui's legends, such as the great eel.
Some of the monsters in Lalotai made cameo appearances earlier in the movie during "You're Welcome".
Maui had a grandmother named Hina who served as the guardian of Lalotai's entrance in earlier drafts the movie.
Along with Tamatoa's song, a song called "Warrior Face" was to be performed in the realm, sung by Maui and Moana.
Moana and Maui were originally going to face a number of monsters in Lalotai, prior to facing their final adversary, Tamatoa. Some of these monsters include the Great Eel (in a speaking role) and a vengeful 8-Eyed Bat.
In a deleted scene, poisonous urchins throughout the realm were one of the obstacles Moana and Maui had to face. Though this was cut from the film, some storybooks still feature illustrations of the two fending off the urchins.