Today we’re having a Tomatoa Party! Remember the giant purple crab in the Moana movie? His name is Tomatoa, and I know he’s a villain, but I can’t help but love him. He cracks me up, and his “Shiny” song is just so darn catchy I knew I needed to have a Realm of Monsters party with a giant Tomatoa and lots of blacklight fluorescent fun.
So I actually didn’t know the name of that giant, purple crab in Moana, but my daughter has the sharpest ears. When she overheard me talking to my husband about the Shiny Crab in Moana, she said, “You mean, Tomatoa?” And we were both, like, “Who?” Then she started singing the lyrics to that “Shiny” song, which begins, “Tomatoa hasn’t always been this glam, I was a drab little crab once…” (and now that song is going to be in your head ALLLL day! You’re Welcome! LOL!)
Now in that Realm of Monster’s scene of the Moana movie, with the giant crab, the lights go out and there’s this blacklight part where all the bio-luminescent algae is glowing, along with Tomatoa’s giant teeth and eyes. That’s the inspiration for this Tomatoa Party…
Of course at the Tomatoa Party, we needed Maui’s magic hook, a DIY Heart of TeFiti, and a sign with Tomatoa’s infamous quote, “I’d rather be shiny!” There were also glowing bubbles plus lots of blacklight reactive, neon party favors. These DIY Tomatoa Crab mittens, made from white paper, glowed bright in the blacklight and were a big hit with the kiddos. We also made fluorescent Te Ka tiki masks, using my free printable template colored with highlighters. Download all the free printables at the end of this post.
I really love the new Lightbox Glow from Heidi Swapp. It is a blacklight version of her awesome Lightbox marquee sign, which I’ve had on my entry table for a while. As soon as I saw the blacklight Lightbox, I knew I had to have it — I’m big fan of blacklights. I also included in the Tomatoa Party Printables Pack a free printable art print of this quote, plus my other favorite Tomatoa quote, “I’m Beautiful Baby!” If you want the Tomatoa free printables just fill out the form at the end of this post.
We couldn’t have a Tomatoa Party without inviting the giant crab himself. I spent weeks racking my brain for ideas on how to bring Tomatoa to life. First I tried to create a mini version of Tomatoa using a purple paper lantern as the body, with a paper plate back covered in shells and random things, all spray painted gold. The crab mittens started out as hands for this Tomatoa project, but I couldn’t get the crab to hold together. The gold, shell-covered, paper plate was incredibly cool looking, but it was just too heavy and wouldn’t stay put. The best part were the big eyes I’d made from styrofoam balls, and it was those that stuck in my head as I pondered what else I could do.
I started thinking bigger, and realized that those giant, 24-inch round balloons would make perfect Tomatoa eyes, which quickly sprouted into this idea for the TOMATOA TABLE:
I love this idea so much more than my original plan. A small model of the crab would have been cute, but in the movie Tomatoa is HUGE, and creating a giant crab table is much more fitting. The way the balloons bounced back and forth off of each other, it was almost like Tomatoa was rocking out along with us — to see what I mean, go take another look at that first image which is an animated GIF of the Tomatoa Table. Another bonus, this Tomatoa Table is surprisingly easy to pull together. It is far less involved than my failed model project, and it has a much bigger impact!
How to Make a Tomatoa Table for Your Tomatoa Party
I used a 6-foot folding table, but any table in the 4 to 6-foot range would work. You’ll also need a floor-length purple tablecloth, which I topped with three gold sequins table runners. Now for the eyes…