Written by Alisa Weinberger
Disney Releases First Moana Trailer
Walt Disney Animation Studios has debuted the first official trailer for the long anticipated Moana, the introduction of Disney’s first princess hailing from the South Pacific islands. According to ComingSoon, the film follows Moana, a teenager who sets sail to save her people and become a master wayfinder. Along the way, she meets a legendary demigod named Maui and unreels the mystery as to why Oceania’s greatest sailors and voyagers stopped sailing.
Not much of the plot is revealed in the trailer. In fact, little is seen of the new heroine, rather Dwayne Johnson revels in his role as Maui, the film’s mythic demigod. The cast features voices from Dwayne Johnson and Native Hawaiian newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, featuring music from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina.
This is a milestone for Disney, not just for it animation prowess but for its representation of South Pacific peoples. With the longstanding controversy of ethnic representation in mainstream Hollywood, specifically in dealing with the identity of indigenous and native peoples, it is exciting to see a cast focused on cultural heritage. This is especially true for an animated feature, that could have easily whitewashed its cast of voice actors.
This is a fully CG-animated endeavour, and from the trailer alone, it sports an incredible color palette as well as astounding hair and water physics. Moana is set for release Thanksgiving this year.