Mini Maui is a character in the upcoming 2016 animated feature film, Moana. He is a sentient tattoo and the best friend of demi-god, Maui.
Mini Maui is one of the many tattoos featured on the body of Maui. Mini Maui is unique in that he has a legitimate relationship with the actual Maui, serving as the latter's confidante, despite his inability to speak. His primary role is to assist Maui in visually telling the legends they've embarked on, though he can sometimes get carried away with his showcasing.
Mini Maui is Maui's better half. Morally righteous and just, he often pressures his occasionally egotistical and selfish host to do the right thing, such as accompanying young Moana on her mission to save her people. This is often a point of contention for Maui.
Mini Maui (which was a nickname lovingly given to the character by the filmmakers) was born from a scene early in the movie's development that involved a gag in which Maui communicated with his tattoo, whom he believed to have drowned. The scene was both comedic and heartfelt, representing a potentially-rich relationship between the two characters that garnered a positive response from the filmmaking team. Directors John Musker, Ron Clements, and executive producer John Lasseter, enjoyed Mini Maui so much, that the character was given additional scenes as development on the film progressed. Not only that, the character was developed to have a distinct personality, and a substantial role in the story, serving as a key component to Maui's character. Animator Eric Goldberg (who collaborated on Mini Maui with animator Mark Henn) was particularly fond of this aspect, comparing the character to Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio.
Though the film is primarily animated with computer animation, Mini Maui is animated through the use of traditional, hand-drawn animation.
During the animation process for the film, animators would specifically request scenes dealing with Mini Maui, for the chance to work with Eric Goldberg.