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The ocean is calling.

Moana is an upcoming 2016 computer animated, musical adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It will be the 56th film in the Disney animated feature canon. Originally described as a "mythic adventure set around 2000 years ago and across a series of islands in the South Pacific."[1], the film will follow the journey of a spirited teenager named Moana as she embarks on a quest across the Pacific Ocean to save her people.

The film is to be directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, renowned for their directorial work on The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Princess and the Frog among other projects.

The film will be released on November 23, 2016. The short film, Inner Workings, will accompany the film, theatrically.[2]


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.[3]



After directing The Princess and the Frog, Musker and Clements started working on an adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Mort,[9] but rights problems prevented them from continuing with that project.[10] To avoid similar problems, they pitched three new ideas, and in 2011 started developing the film based on an original idea.[10]

Moana will be Musker and Clement's first fully computer-animated film.[11] Moana Waialiki will be Disney's first Polynesian princess.[12] Although initially rumoured to be made in hand-drawn/computer-animated technique introduced with Disney's short film Paperman, Musker said that it is "far too early to apply the Paperman hybrid technique to a feature. The Meander digital in-betweening interface still has a host of production issues (including color) that need to be perfected."[11] According to Musker, the idea of an animated film set in the South Pacific was both intriguing to him, and John Lasseter. After pitching the idea, a team was sent to the South Pacific for a two-week research trip. In during which, they met with chiefs, navigators, experts, and natives to garner understanding of the culture. The following research trip involved the animation and music teams.[13]

During their research, the filmmakers learned that voyages across the South Pacific ceased for a thousand years. About 2,000 years in the past, they started once more, but the reason for the lull period had never been definitively confirmed, given the oral state of the culture. Moana is meant to act as Disney's interpretation of an explanation.[13]

On October 20, 2014, Disney announced that Moana's release date would be late 2016.[14][15]

In November 2014, Dwayne Johnson (also known as The Rock) was announced to voice the demigod Maui and join Moana on her action packed voyage [16]

As revealed at the 2015 Disney D23 expo, the film is to be scored by Mark Mancina, Opetaia Foa’i, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. According to John Musker, the music will be a fusion of the three collaboraters, with the Pacific roots of Opetaia, the sense of narrative from Miranda, and Macina's sense of "world music".[17]

On October 7, 2015, Walt Disney Animation Studios released a video announcing the casting of 14-year-old Hawaiian native, Auli'i Cravalho, who will officially portray Moana.

Dialogue recording for the film was completed on July 16, 2016.[18]


  • 700 drafts of the movie were written by Jared Bush, during his first year on the project, alone.[13]
  • The film features the first major traditionally-animated character in a computer-animated Disney animated canon film, in the form of Mini Maui (animated by Eric Goldberg).
  • By the time of Auli'i Cravalho's casting, Moana's design had already been finalized.
  • Heihei was initially portrayed as a hot-tempered bully, but his character was drastically changed and became "very, very stupid".[13]
  • Some of the locations visited during the research trip to have influenced the film include Fiji, Samoa, and Tahiti.[19]
  • Moana will not have a love interest in the film.[19]


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Moana.



  1. Connelly, Brendon (October 12, 2013). "Concept Art And Some Story Details For Disney’s Epic, Mythic Animated Adventure, Moana – UPDATED". Retrieved on October 19, 2013. 
  2. Moana sneak peek, debut of new Disney short ‘Inner Workings’ coming to Annecy Film Festival
  6. Snetiker, Mark. "Hamilton star Phillipa Soo joins Disney's Moana". (Article) Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on June 6.
  7. "Alan Tudyk revealed his ‘Moana’ character and gave us a sample of his voice performance". HitFix (July 22, 2016).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "'Moana' is full of colorful South Pacific personalities". USA Today (July 25, 2016).
  9. Connelly, Brendon (April 6, 2013). "What Disney’s Film Of Terry Pratchett’s Mort Might Have Looked Like… And A Preview Of Things To Come". Retrieved on October 19, 2013. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Miller, Bruce (August 24, 2013). "Sioux City native Ron Clements preps new film for Disney studio". Retrieved on August 22, 2013. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Desowitz, Bill (September 30, 2013). "Immersed in Movies: John Musker Talks 'Little Mermaid' Going Blu and 'Moana'". Retrieved on September 30, 2013. 
  12. "Moana". Big Cartoon DataBase, January 12, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "WE’RE LIVE BLOGGING THE MOANA PANEL AT SAN DIEGO COMIC CON!". Oh My Disney (July 21, 2016).
  14. "Walt Disney Animation Studios Sets Sail with Moana". Disney Insider, October 20, 2014
  15. ‘Moana’ from Disney Animation Confirmed for 2016; Official Synopsis and First Look". Stitch Kingdom, October 20, 2014
  17. [1]
  18. "Just finished our last *surprise* recording! That is an official dialogue WRAP on #Moana !!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉". Twitter (July 16, 2016).
  19. 19.0 19.1 "With no romance for Disney's princess 'Moana,' Lin-Manuel Miranda will supply the passion". Los Angeles Times (July 21, 2016).

v - e - d
Moana Logo Transparent
Moana/Soundtrack | Moana: Island Life | The Art of Moana | Adventurer Activities | Hearts and Heroes | Spirit of Adventure
Moana Waialiki | Maui | Tui and Sina | Heihei | Pua | Mini Maui | Gramma Tala | Tamatoa | Kakamora | Te Kā
Motunui | Lalotai
We Know the Way | How Far I'll Go | You're Welcome
Maui's Fish Hook | Heart of Te Fiti

v - e - dDisney theatrical animated features
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Disney Golden Age

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) · Pinocchio (1940) · Fantasia (1940) · Dumbo (1941) · Bambi (1942) · Saludos Amigos (1942) · The Three Caballeros (1944) · Make Mine Music (1946) · Fun and Fancy Free (1947) · Melody Time (1948) · The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) · Cinderella (1950) · Alice in Wonderland (1951) · Peter Pan (1953) · Lady and the Tramp (1955) · Sleeping Beauty (1959) · One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) · The Sword in the Stone (1963) · The Jungle Book (1967)

Disney Dark Age

The Aristocats (1970) · Robin Hood (1973) · The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) · The Rescuers (1977) · The Fox and the Hound (1981) · The Black Cauldron (1985) · The Great Mouse Detective (1986) · Oliver & Company (1988)

Disney Renaissance

The Little Mermaid (1989) · The Rescuers Down Under (1990) · Beauty and the Beast (1991) · Aladdin (1992) · The Lion King (1994) · Pocahontas (1995) · The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) · Hercules (1997) · Mulan (1998) · Tarzan (1999)


Fantasia 2000 (1999) • Dinosaur (2000) · The Emperor's New Groove (2000) · Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) · Lilo & Stitch (2002) · Treasure Planet (2002) · Brother Bear (2003) · Home on the Range (2004) · Chicken Little (2005) · Meet the Robinsons (2007) · Bolt (2008)

Disney Revival

The Princess and the Frog (2009) · Tangled (2010) · Winnie the Pooh (2011) · Wreck-It Ralph (2012) · Frozen (2013) · Big Hero 6 (2014) · Zootopia (2016)


Moana (2016) · Wreck-It Ralph 2 (2018) · Gigantic (2018) · Frozen 2 (TBA)

Pixar Animation Studios

Toy Story (1995) · A Bug's Life (1998) · Toy Story 2 (1999) · Monsters, Inc. (2001) · Finding Nemo (2003) · The Incredibles (2004) · Cars (2006) · Ratatouille (2007) · WALL-E (2008) · Up (2009) · Toy Story 3 (2010) · Cars 2 (2011) · Brave (2012) · Monsters University (2013) · Inside Out (2015) · The Good Dinosaur (2015) · Finding Dory (2016)


Cars 3 (2017) · Coco (2017) · Toy Story 4 (2018) · The Incredibles 2 (2019)

DisneyToon Studios

DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990) · A Goofy Movie (1995) · Doug's 1st Movie (1999) · The Tigger Movie (2000) · Recess: School's Out (2001) · Return to Never Land (2002) · The Jungle Book 2 (2003) · Piglet's Big Movie (2003) · Teacher's Pet (2004) · Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005) · Bambi II (2006) · Tinker Bell (2008) · Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009) · Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (2010) · Secret of the Wings (2012) · Planes (2013) · The Pirate Fairy (2014) · Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014) · Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (2015)

Lucasfilm Animation Studios

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) · Strange Magic (2015)

Live-Action Films with Non-CG Animation

The Reluctant Dragon (1941) · Victory Through Air Power (1943) · Song of the South (1946) · So Dear to My Heart (1949) · Mary Poppins (1964) · Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) · Pete's Dragon (1977) · Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) · James and the Giant Peach (1996) · Enchanted (2007)

Animated Films Distributed by Disney

The Brave Little Toaster (1987) · The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) · Valiant (2005) · The Wild (2006) · A Christmas Carol (2009) · Mars Needs Moms (2011) · Frankenweenie (2012)

Studio Ghibli Films Distributed by Disney

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) . Princess Mononoke (1997) · Spirited Away (2001) · Howl's Moving Castle (2004) · Tales from Earthsea (2006) · Ponyo (2008) · The Secret World of Arietty (2010) · The Wind Rises (2013)

Start a Discussion Discussions about Moana

  • Should moana marry maui at the end of the movie ?

    82 messages
    • Papermaniac wrote:Sendaa wrote:We seriously don't need a Mulan situation. She can be strong and heroic and doesn't need to have a roma...
    • Ycrmao wrote:Papermaniac wrote:Sendaa wrote:We seriously don't need a Mulan situation. She can be strong and heroic and doesn't need to hav...
  • Future Cultures of Disney Princesses

    230 messages
    • Hercules Fangirl wrote:I would like a Japanese Disney princess. Or would that be too similar to Mulan? who knows, what do you think?:
    • Javier zaldana wrote: Hercules Fangirl wrote:I would like a Japanese Disney princess. Or would that be too similar to Mulan? who knows, what...

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