Walt Disney Animation's Zootopia - a critical darling (and member of the billion dollar club) now available on DVD and Blu-ray - won't be the only original animated offering from the Mouse House in 2016. This fall, Disney Animation will unveil Moana, an original fantasy/adventure about Moana (Auli'i Cravalho), the young daughter of a Polynian chief and the descendant of a long line of legendary sea navigators. Joining Moana on her own oceanic adventure to find a fabled island (and help her family) is the demigod Maui, voiced by none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Moana was co-written by such people as Pamela Ribon (Samantha Who?) and Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows), in addition to being directed by Ron Clements and John Musker: the filmmakers behind several late 1980s and early 1990s Disney Animated Renaissance movies, including The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin, as well as Disney animated features such as Treasure Planet and The Princess and the Frog in the 2000s. Moviegoers will get a sneak peek at Clements and Musker's latest animated film when the Moana teaser trailer arrives this weekend.
Johnson exclusively debuted the Moana teaser poster via his social media accounts (including on Twitter), at the same time announcing that he is looking forward to showing off the "spectacular visuals behind this movie" with the teaser trailer on Sunday. The Moana teaser trailer will no doubt be attached to prints of Disney/Pixar's Finding Dory, when the latter hits theaters next week on Friday, June 17th. Disney is also expected to attach trailers for the two live-action films it has coming out later this summer - Steven Spielberg's The BFG adaptation and David Lowery's Pete's Dragon remake - to the Finding Nemo sequel in theaters, too. You can check out the Moana poster, below.
Featuring songs co-written by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda (who's also starring in Disney's upcoming sequel, Mary Poppins Returns), Moana is shaping up to be another fine addition to Disney's larger animated filmography, as well as a cherry on top of the ice cream sundae that has been 2016 for the Mouse House already (thanks to the critical/commercial success of Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Captain America: Civil War). As noted in the Zootopia Honest Trailer, nowadays Disney Animation is held in (essentially) the same critical regard as Pixar, and it's unlikely that Moana will buck that trend.
Moana is also reflective of both Disney and Pixar ongoing commitment to not only delivering more diversity in terms of storytelling, but with respect to their films' production teams too. Finding Dory, like Moana and Zootopia before it, was co-penned by a female screenwriter (as was Pixar's Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur last year), while Moana is also being developed by multiple artists from the Southern Pacific, including Waititi and Opetaia Foa’I (who is working on the film's score/songs with Miranda). It's a movie to watch out for when the fall season arrives, based on these reasons and more.
Moana opens in U.S. theaters on November 23rd, 2016. Check back on Screen Rant this Sunday for the official teaser trailer!
Source: Dwayne Johnson
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