The Walt Disney Animation Studios has gone through a period of eras since debuting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. There's been the Golden Age (from the 1930s-1960s), the Disney Renaissance of the late '80s through the '90s, and a somewhat experimental era in the 2000s that gave us the likes of Treasure Planet and Chicken Little. Now, Disney's animation arm is experiencing another resurgence of massive popularity by mixing classic formulas with more modern stories - to tremendous box office and critical success. Frozen was a huge hit in 2013, and two animated features in 2016, Zootopia and Moana, helped propel Disney to a record breaking box office year.
For its part, Moana is a somewhat atypical Disney princess movie since it doesn't feature a romance storyline as many of the Mouse House's animated films do, but it does include the titular heroine (voiced by Auli'i Cravalho) going on an adventure with the demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson) in order to save her home. Like many Disney animated movies, Moana features plenty of musical numbers written by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina, and Opetaia Foa'i. Now, a new video offers a unique look at Maui's solo number, "You're Welcome".
Disney released a behind-the-scenes video [above] from Johnson's recording session that depicts the actor singing his character's song, "You're Welcome". The song was released as the second single off the Moana soundtrack and peaked at #83 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart back in December. Miranda wrote the song for the actor and, as revealed on Conan, he learned the former pro-wrestler's vocal range by watching old videos of Johnson's time as a wrestling villain.
Of course, the video doesn't offer anything necessarily new about Moana; it's simply a peek behind the curtain at Johnson during his recording session mixed with scenes from the theatrical release of the movie. In fact, the full "You're Welcome" scene from Moana was released online shortly after the movie's theatrical debut in November. In all likelihood, the video was released to promote Moana's digital release this week, with the Blu-ray scheduled to arrive in two week's time.
That said, it's certainly a fun behind-the-scenes look for fans of Moana, and especially Johnson. The actor himself is quite busy; he starred in two films in 2016 - Moana and Central Intelligence - and has three set for 2017 including The Fate of the Furious, Baywatch, and Jumanji. Additionally, Johnson has a number of projects in the works that include two films in Warner Bros' DC Comics Extended Universe: Shazam! and the recently announced solo Black Adam movie. Certainly, between all these projects - and his fun performance of "You're Welcome" - it's easy to see how Johnson earned the title of Entertainer of the Year at the 2017 NAACP Image Awards.
Moana is now available in digital HD; the Blu-ray releases Tuesday, March 7.
- Moana (2016) release date: Nov 23, 2016