Walt Disney Animation has entered a new era of success in recent years, largely kicked off by Frozen in 2013 and helped along by this year's Zootopia, which earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Now, Disney's next animated feature film takes viewers to Oceana in the South Pacific for Moana. The film follows the titular character, played by newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, as she teams up with the demigod Maui, voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, on a journey across the sea.
With little more than a month left before the film hits theaters late in November, Disney has already unveiled trailers introducing viewers to Moana, who has a special relationship with the ocean, as well as the shapeshifting demigod Maui. Now, a new video from the set of Moana features Cravalho and Johnson challenging each other to an eyebrow-off.
In a video posted by Johnson to Twitter and Instagram, Cravalho challenges her co-star to see who can better execute the People's Eyebrow - Johnson's signature expression while he was a wrestling star. Although Johnson gives it his best shot, the actor is unable to raise both eyebrows and Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda, who co-wrote the songs of Moana, names Cravalho the winner. Judge for yourself after watching the video below:
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 3, 2016
Although the eyebrow-off doesn't offer anything particularly new about the movie itself, Johnson has excelled in recent years in using his social media to promote his upcoming films. Certainly, as one of the biggest and most hard-working stars in Hollywood today, Johnson's social media presence helps to capitalize on his popularity for the benefit of his projects, including Moana - just look at all his updates from the set of Jumanji. Plus, this video helps to introduce viewers to Cravalho, whose role as Moana is her first in Hollywood.
In addition to Johnson and Cravalho, the film stars Temuera Morrison (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones) as Moana’s father Chief Tui, singer Nicole Scherzinger as Moana’s mother Sina, Jemaine Clement (The BFG) as the villainous crab Tamatoa, Alan Tudyk (Wreck-It Ralph) as Moana's pet rooster Hei Hei, and Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo as a villager on Moana’s home island. The movie was directed by the Disney team behind Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, Ron Clements and John Musker, with music from Miranda, Mark Mancina (Tarzan, August Rush), and Oceanic songwriter Opetaia Foa’i.
It remains to be seen if Moana will find as much success as Frozen or Zootopia at the box office or among critics and casual moviegoers. But, the charm displayed by Johnson and Cravalho in their eyebrow-off video may help to win over fans that were previously on the fence about seeing Disney's next animated feature - or, at least, drum up excitement among those who already planned to see Moana when it hits theaters next month.
Next: Moana Trailer #2
Moana will see theatrical release in the U.S. on November 23, 2016.