Moana is Disney’s first ever Polynesian Princess and the film, set in Hawaii, has generated an awful lot of interest, no doubt because of its the stellar cast that includes Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, music from Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame, and a new star in Auli’i Cravalho, who voices the titular role. Set in ancient Oceania in the South Pacific, the film follows the titular princess as she sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her journey, she teams up with her hero and legendary demi-god Maui, who in the trailer speaks proudly of his own impressive history. Our writers have discussed exactly what they expect from the 56th Disney Feature based on it’s first teaser trailer.
“I loved this teaser. The Rock’s charm and charisma is off the charts, the animation looks stellar and the humour was pitched perfectly. Disney has been killing it with their animated films for the last 4 years and Moana looks like it’s going to maintain their winning streak. Plus I like that their exploring the pacific islander type culture, something that I don’t think any of us know much about. This movie is gonna be great!” – David Mitchell-Baker, Writer
“I feel like I’ve been waiting for so long to get a glimpse of this film and the wait was definitely worth it! The teaser is stunning and I love the music. The dynamic between Maui and Moana is another win in my opinion, it really strikes a chord with the bond we saw between Mulan and Mushu. I hope this is something that Disney explores further as it was one of the best bits of Mulan. All in all, I really hope this film lives up to the hype!” – Holly Hammond, Writer
“While I didn’t think that Disney could do a Hawaiian story as well as Lilo and Stitch (my favourite Disney film), Moana certainly looks very promising indeed. Dwayne Johnson seems to really fit his role and Auli’i Cravalho seems really pumped for her role, so I think they will have good chemistry. It is good to see the exploration of a more realistic looking character too, the unnecessary removal of curves to conform with modern ‘beauty’ standards previously shown in Disney films is nonsensical.” – Robert Pratley, News Editor
“I’m optimistic for this. I’m looking forward to finding out more about the plot, as this trailer only really introduces us to the characters (and not so much Moana herself, actually), but the music should be great, who doesn’t love The Rock and was that a baby pig I saw?? Everyone knows that the animal sidekick is what MAKES a Disney film. Bring it on!” – Anneka Honeyball, Editor
“This is the most excited I have ever been for a Disney film. I love the whole concept, the character design and the culture that they are going to be exploring. They did this back with Lilo and Stitch so successfully, and just by the look of this trailer I know it’s going to be on the same level. Can’t wait to see where Auli’i Cravalho goes after Moana!” – Sophie McEvoy, Writer
“Disney has always been so great at making films with princesses in all different kinds of circumstances from different worlds, e.g Merida from Brave, Mulan, Pocahontas. All of these characters have subverted the princess stereotype and Moana looks like a really great addition to this. The Pacific Island setting looks great and she looks like a beautiful, natural, and REAL girl (with curves!).” Hollie Geraghty, Film Editor
“I’m really excited for another Disney Princess with a totally original story that doesn’t come from a pre-existing fairytale or legend, but draws on another culture for inspiration. As a Hamilton addict I am pumped for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s soundtrack – we might have another Let It Go-type blockbuster hit on our hands – and Moana has such a gorgeous character design. Definitely one of the films I’m most anticipating this year!” – Sarah Corrigan, Writer
“This looks like a fun, sweet film which promises to entertain audiences both old and young. It’s refreshing to see more diversity in Disney’s heroes/princesses, as it suggests Disney is listening to the public while retaining the lightheartedness their animations are known for. All in all this film looks like an easy, fun watch. Plus with Dwayne Johnson voicing the role of Maui what’s not to love?” – Becca Barnes, writer
The Verdict: Fresh, exciting and dripping with charisma, Moana looks like it will be riding the wave of excitement all the way to success. Watch the teaser trailer below.