As Disney begins to outpace Pixar with visually gorgeous and thoughtful narratives, Moana looks like it might be the crown jewel in their latest releases. Today, Disney released the official full length trailer that shows the sweeping adventure of a young woman on a mission to save her people:
In the trailer, we see young Moana taking to the treacherous sea to find Maui, the demigod who can help save her people. He is at first incredulous of her ability to handle the challenges ahead but when he throws her overboard and sees that the ocean protects her, he agrees to go with her.
There’s the tried and true prophecy narrative, as well as the believing in yourself trope, but it looks like the film will use the new and colorful aesthetic and folklore to flesh out into a kind of story we haven’t experienced in a mainstream way (and no, Lilo and Stitch doesn’t quite count, even if it is a great movie). The animation and action look well designed and fluid, and the character designs are clearly thoughtful and highlight the character’s personalities and strengths. So far, all signs point to a successful movie, maybe even a classic.
The film stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the demigod Maui and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as Moana. The film prides itself on getting people of Polynesian descent in the main roles, including singer Nicole Scherzinger, Rachel House, and Temuera Morrison as Moana’s mother, grandmother and father, respectively, as well as, Jemaine Clement as a huge villainous crab. Phillipa Soo, fresh off Broadway hit Hamilton, and Alan Tudyk, who has worked on several Disney films already, will also make appearances in the film.
Moana will be a musical film and will feature songs written by Lin Manuel Miranda of In The Heights and Hamilton, as well as Mark Mancina and acclaimed songwriter Opetaia Foa’i.
Moana will premiere in theaters across the U.S. on November 23, 2016.