Moana: Everything We Know So Far

Any committed Disnerd will know, that the world is about to be graced with a new Disney Princess in November of this year, as the studio releases their 56th film in Disney’s animated feature canon.

However, Walt Disney Animation Studios have been careful not to release more information than is necessary about the upcoming film, leaving Disney fans eager to find out as much as possible about the new Polynesian Princess.

Take a look at the official teaser trailer, and then follow us as we take a look at everything that we know so far about Moana!





  • The film is being directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, who both worked on The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Princess and the Frog
  • After they had developed a first draft of the story, the film’s directors took a research trip to the Pacfic, including Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti, in order to learn more about Pacific Culture. After returning, they reworked the entire project
  • Moana will be the director’s first computer animated film






  • In ancient Oceanica, a young girl, Moana Waialiki, is a spirited navigator, who sets sail in search of a fabled island
  • Attempting to prove herself as a master navigator, her journey takes place in order that she might fulfil the unfinished quest of her ancestors
  • During her journey, she meets up with her hero, the once mighty demi-god Maui
  • Together, the two of them take on the ocean on an action-packed voyage





  • After directing The Princess and the Frog, directors Clements and Musker began work on a production which was lost due to issues obtaining the film rights. They pitched three ideas for a new project…Moana was one of them
  • The film will be made using a new painterly style of CGI
  • The main reason for using CG is to animate the ocean more authentically
  • According to Walt Disney Productions, computer animation also generates the sculpted faces of the South Pacific People, better than traditional animation. However, Maui’s tattoos will be hand drawn
  • New Zealand native, Taika Waititi wrote the script for the film
  • A Disney Infinity game for Moana was developed, but will never be available due to the brand's cancellation
  • It was announced at the 2015 Disney23 Expo that the film would be scored by three collaborators with Pacific roots
  • Moana will be the 56th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics canon
  • The film will feature the voice of Alan Tudyk in a role that is yet to be confirmed. Tudyk is known for being the voice of King Candy in Wreck it Ralph and the Duke of Weselton in Frozen.





Moana – the Next Disney Princess

  • After auditioning hundreds of young girls for the voice role of Moana, it was offered to 14 year old Hawaiian, Auli’I Cravalho
  • Moana means ‘ocean’ in Hawaain and Maori
  • In the Italian version, Moana’s name will be ‘Vaiana’ and the film called ‘Oceania,’ to avoid confusion with an Italian porn star named Moana Pozzi
  • Cravalho will be the youngest actress to ever voice a Disney Princess
  • Moana Waialiki will be Disney’s first Polynesian Princess
  • Moana is the only daughter of a chief
  • She is also a descendent of a long line of navigators
  • According to Cravalho, Moana is brave, empowered and goes after what she wants

 Take a look at the ‘Casting Moana’ video







  • The legendary demi-god Maui sets off on Moana’s journey
  • Maui is known in multiple Pacific myths including Hawaiian, Tongan, Samoan, Tahitian and New Zealand mythology
  • Maui will be voiced by Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson
  • Disney has recently come under scrutiny for his overweight depiction of Maui’s character, which according to some, perpetuates Polynesian stereotypes
  • Maui is covered with authentically Pacific tattoos
  • Moana is Johnson’s second animated film
We hope that these bits of trivia help tidy you over till the film's release on November 23rd, 2016!

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