Moana is the next original animated offering from Walt Disney Animation Studios and the latest project from acclaimed directors Ron Clements and John Musker: the duo responsible for such Mouse House classics as The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, among many others. The movie follows the adventures of its namesake (Auli'i Cravalho), the descendant of a long line of Southern Pacific sailors, who sets out to fulfill her ancestors' unfinished mission - exploring the many islands of Oceania - three thousands years after their sea voyages stopped for reasons unknown. Moana is joined on her adventure by three sidekicks: the pig Pua, the chicken Hei Hei, and the human demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson).
"The Rock" previously announced that Disney's Moana teaser trailer would be dropping online ahead of the 70th Tony Awards - a theater awards show where, fittingly enough, Moana songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit Broadway stage musical Hamilton is expected to take home more than its fair share of prizes. The film's trailer has now officially hit the 'Net and can be watched, above.
Moana was co-written by Clements and Musker in collaboration with Pamela Ribon (Samantha Who?), Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows), and Jared Bush (Zootopia). The movie's supporting voice cast so far includes Disney Animation Studios' current go-to voice actor Alan Tudyk (who also voiced characters for Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia), in addition to Hamilton star Phillipa Soo, with other cast members TBA. In case you missed it, here is the Moana poster that Johnson unveiled a few days before the teaser trailer's release:
The first part of the Moana trailer is the same footage that was shown to those who attended Moana's presentation at D23 2015, where Maui boasts to Moana (and Pua) about his many larger-than-life deeds, with the help of his many, magical, moving tattoos. From there, the preview transitions into a montage that glimpses a handful of visually-striking moments and sequences from the movie (Moana and her relatives sailing on the open ocean, Maui transforming into a bird), as set to the original tunes written and performed by Miranda, in collaboration with New Zealand guitarist Opetaia Foa’I and Mark Mancina (who also scored Disney's animated Tarzan, Brother Bear, and the Planes movies). It has also been revealed the The Rock performs a song of his own in the film, as written by Miranda.
2016 has already been a great time for Disney Animation, thanks to the runaway critical/commercial success of Zootopia in the spring. Nevertheless, judging by the first Moana footage, the studio is poised to end this year on a (possibly equally) strong note too.
Moana opens in U.S. theaters on November 23rd, 2016.
Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios
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