ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

It's been well over a year since the release date of Disney's next animated filmMoana was announced, and now after being drip-fed official images, casting news and snippets of footage, we finally have a teaser trailer to really sink our teeth into!

Moana (voiced by newcomer Auli'i Cravalho) is set to become Disney's first Polynesian princess, and the film will take audiences on a mythical adventure through the South Pacific as Moana sails the Pacific Ocean to complete her ancestors' unfinished quest. Moana (whose name means "ocean" in several Pacific languages) will be joined along the way by the demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) and their animal sidekicks Pua (a pig) and Hei Hei (a rooster).

Take a look at the beautiful trailer below and prepare to be swept away into the world of the Pacific.

I know it was only one-minute, 28-seconds long, but I'm ready to label Moana a smash hit now because that trailer was truly stunning! Let's dive in for a closer look.

Maui Is Introduced

Maui's legends as told by his tattoos.
Maui's legends as told by his tattoos.

First up, we have an introduction to the character of Maui and why he's so important in Pacific cultures.

Maui is a well-known figure in the Pacific, appearing in Maori, Samoan, Hawaiian, Tongan, Tahitian and Mangarevan mythologies. He's basically a Polynesian superhero known for being a major trickster, but also for his impressive feats. In the opening few seconds of the teaser trailer some of the legends of Maui are quickly recounted through his tattoos, including him slowing the sun and fishing up islands.

I've written more in depth about Maui and his magical hook before, so if interested you can take a look over here.

Moana Is Introduced

Moana and Pua meet Maui.
Moana and Pua meet Maui.

Following Maui's enthusiastic retelling of his legends, we meet our new princess Moana and her pal Pua. It seems like Moana is a little confused by the over-the-top demigod, but I'm sure it's just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Anyone else loving the animation?!

For more information on the characters of Moana take a look over here.

We Get A Hint At Moana's Connection To The Ocean

After the music kicks in we see a few scenes from the film, including one where it looks like a baby Moana appears to part the ocean and peers through the water as a turtle glides by. We already know from her name that Moana has a very special connection to the ocean, but this magical kinship is something else.

It was also very cool that we saw a traditional double-hull outrigger canoe. Ancient Polynesians famously navigated the Pacific in vessels such as these, using only the stars to find their way, something which was also mentioned in the lyrics of the music ("we are explorers reading every sign") playing in the trailer.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Maui.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Maui.

Given that this was just the first trailer — and a teaser trailer at that — Disney gives us just enough of an intro to keep us hooked (pun intended). With five months until Moana is released on November 23 we can definitely expect longer and more detailed trailers in the months to come, and I for one cannot wait.

Check out the synopsis for Moana below:

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.

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated adventure about a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. 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.

Moana sails into theaters on November 23.

Are you excited to meet Maui and Moana?

Disney's Moana.
Disney's Moana.


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