Monday, October 20, 2014

The South Pacific Epic

I can barely contain my excitement… Walt Disney Animation Studios has officially announced Moana to the world

We caught wind of this ambitious, South Pacific-set project a year ago when Blue Sky Disney leaked some information, and in the fan circles, it was perhaps the most anticipated film on Walt Disney Animation Studios' slate, beating out the likes of Zootopia and Giants. There were hints of it being a traditionally animated film, or a film that combined traditional with computer animation, making it "Paperman the Movie". We craved an official announcement ever since, and now it's here! Perfect timing too, because Big Hero 6 is right around the corner and is getting some early reception… No shock, it's said to be great.

First off, a lovely piece of concept artwork…

The real plot synopsis…

"In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore."

I'm already sold. A demigod partner? The Oceanic setting? "Enormous sea creatures"? "Breathtaking underworlds"? To top it off, ancient folklore? This is already epic in scope, it sounds HUGE… and if the rumors of it being a sort of Paperman/Feast-looking film is true (there was no comment on the medium it'll be done in), then this will be one hell of an animated feature. Out of all the films on the studio's slate, this one currently excites me the most - in terms of both the story and the visuals. It's one of my most anticipated animated films, period. I bet the same applies to several other folks out there.

Ron Clements and John Musker, who I call Disney's dream team since they always direct films together, are at the helm, as the animation community all knows. Musker had this to say about the titular lead:

"Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself. She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences."

When is it coming out? November 23, 2016.

It did in fact move ahead of Giants on the studio's development slate, because back in 2013, it seemed likely that the film would actually be Disney's spring 2018 animation release with Giants coming before it.

It's great to know that it's in fine shape and that we'll be getting it sooner. Again, it just has so much potential and it's the return of Ron & John! Need I say more?


  1. cant wait!!!!!

    the US facebook page calls the film a CG-comedy adventure so...

    and I really hope the rumour that Zootopia being great in development and may be moved up is true, coz I want both Zootopia and Moana to fight for their awards with competitors, not with themselves. really dislike the idea of studios having 2 films per year, its like fighting for ur own awards.

  2. Can't wait! I'm sure it's going to be fantastic no matter what medium it's in. By the way, to skip the subject a bit, did you hear about this show called Kirby Buckets on Disney XD? I saw a bit of it, and it does nothing to help the animation industry here in the US (it's about a kid who wants to be an animator, but that premise is executed in an awful way), and it features what I believe is one of the most vile, sequences I've ever seen any kids' network put out (a kid vomits on someone else after eating nachos from a dumpster, seriously). I was really offended by it, and it makes me happy that unlike Disney XD, Walt Disney Animation Studios is continuing to follow Walt's path, especially with Moana.

    1. Sounds like pandering garbage. Luckily we still have shows like 'Gravity Falls' and 'Wander Over Yonder' when it comes to good Disney TV Animation.

    2. I personally don't care about Disney TV Animation. That's just my opinion though, I'm more of a fan of the official Disney canon and the Pixar films than anything.

  3. All I hope is that they don't add Moana to the Disney Princess lineup, thereby removing her whatever interesting aspects her personality would have previously had. Not every Disney heroine has to be a Princess!

    1. I don't recall becoming a Disney Princess immediately changes ur personality in the film? Merida still had her personalities in the film. Turning her into a Disney Princess did not change anything whatsoever.

      So u want the Disney Princess lineup to only be filled with white princesses? Only European powers focus a lot on princess royalty. Everyone else simply are daughters of chiefs and lords. So does that mean there should only be white princesses in the lineup? Adding Moans into the lineup would broaden diversity for young girls to look upon as well as more opportunities to have more representation among the lucrative Disney Princess franchise, which is what girls around the world look up.

    2. No, no, no. You're misunderstanding my argument completely. I'm just saying I want Moana to be a "real" heroine, not just a slightly more progressive Princess. Remember how, in the 90's, Disney would give its female leads some empowering personality trait (Ariel's sense of adventure, Belle's love of reading, etc.), but then downplay it totally in the merchandise because dolls and clothes were what sold? Remember how when Brave came out, people threw a fit because Merida's merchandise made her out to have a completely different personality than she does in the movie?
      That's what I'm talking about. I hope Moana can be a new kind of Disney heroine, one that doesn't have to just be marketed to little girls. From they way the plot of the movie is described, she has the potential to be.