The Following Preview… #57: Moana

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Source: Disney

Walt Disney Animation Studios has debuted the new Moana trailer, which you can watch using the player below! The anticipated film opens in theaters on November 23.

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.

Jemaine Clement also voices Tamatoa, Rachel House lends her voice to Gramma Tala, Temuera Morrison voices Moana’s father, Chief Tui, Nicole Scherzinger is Moana’s mother, Sina, and Alan Tudyk is behind the voice of Heihei. The roster of characters also includes the Kakamora, an intense team of crazy, coconut-armored pirates who will stop at nothing to get what they want, and PUA, Moana’s loyal pet pig with puppy energy and an innocent puppy brain.

Moana is directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess & the Frog) and produced by Osnat Shurer (Lifted, One Man Band).


Yet again, Disney ups the ante on the animation game because this movie looks visually incredible, the film looks likes it’ll do a good job capturing the feel of the South Pacific and the Polynesian culture and bringing that into the world of animation. Not only that but it seems like directors Ron Clements & John Musker, who’ve worked primarily in 2D animation, make the jump over to CG animation nicely.

It also helps when you have Dwayne Johnson on board in the cast because he will more often than not deliver a strong enjoyable fun performance and in this, he looks like he’s having the time of his life playing Maui. And then, you have this newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho as Moana, who actually got the job by sending an audition tape through Youtube and was actually the last person to audition and judging by what I’m seeing here, I think Disney made the right call because you can tell that Auli’l has a lot of charisma and personality that she can bring to the character of Moana just by watching this trailer.

The music is already also looking to be really solid as well with music by Lin Manuel Miranda along with Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa’i. As far as Disney’s concerned, there’s definitely more than enough to make this yet another winner for them.

The one thing that does have me worried is the competition, because not just Disney is opening an animated film this holiday season but its’ two biggest competitors are also musicals, Dreamworks’ Trolls…

…which with more and more footage being shown looks a lot better than what that lousy first trailer was making it out to be, the animation looks incredible and the music is sounding really solid and that comes out first on November 4th.

And then after that around Christmas time is Universal and Illumination’s Sing…

…which has so far been getting positive word of mouth after debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival.

So, there’s a lot of competition in the animated musical feature game this holiday season but the benefit for Disney is that Moana will be opening up on Thanksgiving weekend, a weekend they’ve usually dominated in the past.

Bottom line, knowing how well Disney’s animation studio has risen back up over the last eight years, it’s hard not to get excited for Moana because it seems like everything that made Disney’s last animated features great is in this movie and hopefully, they will turn out yet another great animated movie.

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