Disney is widening their diversity net. According to Us Weekly, Disney just introduced their first Polynesian princess. Her name is Moana Waialiki, and she made her first appearance at the D23 Expo.
Moana will have her own CGI-animated film, appropriately titled Moana. While it isn’t known who will voice Moana, the film already has some star power. According to the report, Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious) will voice a character named Maui. Maui is described as a “demi-god.”
With the success of Frozen, it sounds like Disney is looking to follow a similar formula. According to the expo, Moana will have a spunky personality like Frozen’s Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. Another character she’s being compared to is Disney’s Merida from the hit animated film Brave.
While we don’t know who will voice Moana, it’s said that Fifth Harmony’s Dinah Jane Hansen has read for the part.
During the presentation at Disney’s expo, sketches of Moana floated across the screen. The images clearly show a South Pacific influence in her printed outfit, which included a dark red top and a skirt.
Other characters who were introduced along with Moana are Tui, who is rumored to be the chief of the village that Moana belongs to. Additionally, Moana will also have two sidekicks — Pua the Pig and Hei Hei the rooster. With sidekicks and a presumably wise chief, Moana also has to go up against adversity. Disney has decided a creepy lava sculpture with ash-like claws will be the evil villain in this film.
We first heard about this news back in January of 2014 when the Daily Dot reported on the film.
“The animated musical will tell the story of a young Polynesian sea-voyager and navigator, Moana Waialiki, and will be directed by the creators of The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. It apparently includes Moana going on an epic journey and meeting demi-gods from what the Disney wiki somewhat oxymoronically describes as ‘real mythology.'”
As for the music, it’s said that Broadway’s Lin-Manuel Miranda will score the film.
So far, the fan response seems very positive.
@theestherlee don’t tell me what to do! Okay, fine. I guess I’ll meet her.
— Rachel D. McRady (@rachelmcrady) August 20, 2015
Moana was probably my favorite looking movie. Imagine Lilo and Stitch, but through a Wall-E filter with a touch of Brave.
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) August 15, 2015
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) August 15, 2015
[Image via Disney]