Disney’s Moana: New Poster Released; Trailer Coming on Thursday

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One of the most anticipated new movies coming this fall is Moana, the 56th film from Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Set in ancient Oceania in the South Pacific, Moana features the voice of action star Dwayne Johnson as Maui, the fabled demigod of Polynesian mythology.

New Poster, Moana Mondays, and a Trailer

Thanks to Johnson himself, we now have a new look at the film in the form of a poster. And there’s news on more announcements to come — including a trailer this Thursday.

Johnson took to Instagram to reveal the new poster:

Johnson’s caption reads: “EXCLUSIVE: Here’s your very first look at the official poster for #MOANA! Today also kicks off something special that we’re calling #MOANAMondays — From now until our Thanksgiving weekend release, myself, the cast and Disney will be serving up amazingly cool looks at the film, taking you deeper into how it was made, and what you can expect from our story and characters. And most importantly, THE MUSIC. Stay tuned because I have even MORE coming your way this week, including the worldwide premiere of the trailer on @GoodMorningAmerica this Thursday. #MOANA”

The Making of Moana

Disney, Moana, Auli'i Cravalho
Image Credit: Twitter

15-year-old Auli’i Cravalho will make her film debut as the voice of the title character, Moana. (And for the record, it’s pronounced “moe-ah-nah,” not “moan-uh.”) Cravalho beat out hundreds of other Polynesian girls for the coveted role.

In addition to Johnson and Cravalho, the film also stars Temuera Morrison (Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) as Moana’s father, Chief Tui. Actress and singer Nicole Scherzinger provides the voice of Sina, Moana’s mother.

Here’s the official synopsis for the film, straight from Disney:

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.

Polynesian History and Stereotypes?

Moana will be Disney’s first ever Polynesian princess, which is an important milestone. But it was the appearance of Johnson’s demigod Maui that had some Pacific Islanders upset.

While Maui does appear to be a strong, capable warrior, his physique could be considered to be overweight. There are some concerns that the character plays into harmful stereotypes regarding Polynesian men:

The Disney Musical Tradition Continues

The film will feature a musical score from composer Marc Mancini, as well as songs by award-winning songwriter Opetaia Foa’i and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Stay tuned on Thursday for the first full-length trailer! Moana hits theaters just in time for Thanksgiving on November 23, 2016.

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