Big Hero 6 hasn’t even hit theaters yet, but Walt Disney Animation Studios is already looking ahead to 2016 with a first look at Moana, a brand new animated feature set to hit theaters in later 2016. Directed by The Little Mermaid filmmakers Ron Clements and John Musker, Moana is billed as “a sweeping CG-animated comedy-adventure” that follows Moana, a sprightly teenager with a natural knack for navigation, as she travels across the South Pacific world of Oceania in search of a fabled island. Teaming up with an ancient, fabled demi-god namd Maui, Moana sets sail on an epic voyage that will see her encountering massive undersea creatures, all manner of folklore, and adventure on the high seas in an effort to complete her ancestors’ quest. Honestly, you had us at “Ron Clements and John Musker”. If anyone can make an awesome aquatic animated adventure, it’s them.
In a press release, Musker expanded on Moana’s character: “Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself. She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences.” A Disney character that we all root for? I don’t know, you guys — sounds pretty unconventional. Along with the brief statement, Disney also unveiled our first look at the concept art, featuring Maui and Moana adrift on the ocean.
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Other than that, we don’t know a heck of a whole lot about Moana. Back in 2013, Bleeding Cool ran a story that offered a little more insight:
“It’s an epic, or even mythic, adventure set around 2000 years ago and across a series of islands in the South Pacific. The lead character, Moana Waialiki is the only daughter of a Chief in a long line of navigators. She’s really a bit of nerd, but a nerd about sea voyaging, and when her family need her help, she sets off on an epic journey. Some of the other characters are demi-gods and spirits drawn from real mythology.”
Well, that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still two years away! In the meantime, does anyone want to go get some Polynesian food? Suddenly I’m jonesing.