ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. More ramblings on Twitter @ExtraTremeerial
Eleanor Tremeer

After the wild success of Zootopia, the CG-animated feature Moana is Disney's next outing. The film will be released on November 23 and stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Alan Tudyk in leading roles, as well as newcomer Auli'i Cravalho as Moana. We've already caught a glimpse of the film in a teaser trailer, and the plot synopsis and soundtrack details have also been released. So here's everything we know!

Plot Details

In a welcome shift from European fairytales, Moana is the story of a young Pacific Islander (perhaps Polynesian), who strikes out on an epic journey to find a fabled island.

The official synopsis describes Moana as something of a quest story, as the young girl follows in the footsteps of her ancestors in the tradition of seafaring:

Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast South Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped — and no one today knows why.
[Moana is the] spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest.

Joining Moana is the demigod Maui — played by The Rock — who Moana idolizes. But it seems he's not quite the god he once was...

The first image of Maui and Moana.
The first image of Maui and Moana.
During her journey, she meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds.

The movie certainly sounds very exciting, and we recently got our first sneak peek!

Teaser Trailer Shows New Footage

As part of a featurette on the Disney Channel, some footage from Moana has been unveiled.

From the look of things, Maui is quite the handful, and it'll be interesting to see how he and Moana get along on their quest. Which, by the way, will be a musical along the lines of Frozen and The Princess and the Frog.

A Musical Adventure

The score for Moana will no doubt be fantastic; the songs reportedly draw from Polynesian folk music and were co-written by South Pacific band Te Vaka. Directing the score is composer Alan Menken, who has worked on other Disney features including Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin. When talking to Entertainment Weekly, Menken described how exciting it is to work on Moana:

"It’s our first CG feature. All the other ones we’ve done were hand drawn. This one’s CG. And it’s a musical. There’s a musician Opetaia Foa’i who’s got a band called Te Vaca. He’s doing the music with Lin-Manual Miranda, who’s done Hamilton here on Broadway. It’s been exciting."

Hamilton is hugely successful, and its creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda also created the new cantina band song for the recent Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Recently he reported to fans on the process of Moana:

Miranda's distinctive style, along with Menken's veteran composing talents and the South Pacific stylings of Te Vaka, will surely create a very memorable musical. Especially as The Rock will also be rapping, as he revealed on Instagram!

Today I will sing, I will rap and do it all in keys that don't exist - yet somehow make it all sound wonderful to the world's ear.
Maui and Moana off on their adventure.
Maui and Moana off on their adventure.

All in all, Moana is one of Disney's most hotly anticipated movies yet, and we can't wait for the finished product. Stay tuned for more updates!

[Source: Entertainment Weekly]


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