Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Making Waves: 'Moana' Renders Released and Cast Update

Though it's more than a year away, more details on Walt Disney Animation Studios' 56th film have surfaced!

Yes that's right, details on the highly anticipated epic Oceanic musical Moana!

First off, the titular lead has its voice, a native Hawaiian teen actress named Auli'i Cravalho. The video that Disney released also came with a still of the character herself (the render is old news, for it's the same one that was shown at this past D23 Expo) and a finished render of The Rock's character, demigod Maui...

Of course a lot of people are wondering why the film's look isn't Feast in movie form. I'm not surprised that it looks the way it looks considering that the final render of Moana holding the oar was, like I said, shown at D23 nearly two months ago alongside renders of her father Tui, and the film's animal leads Pua and Hei Hei.

I guess the technology is still in its infancy, and that they still need to experiment with it before heading into features with it. Is there even a desire to do a full-length feature with this technology and look? Various rumors point to a "Feast-looking movie" being a thing in the far future, so I think one day we'll see a film that's essentially a 100-minute Feast or Paperman. Moana doesn't seem like it'll be it, but Gigantic could be the one. Or whatever Dean Wellins is working on, or something that's in development that we've never heard of before. Disney Animation and traditional animation's future are another story for another day...

Anyways, Maui's design is fantastic, and very close to the concept sketch that was shown at D23. All of his tattoos are really cool and we know that they are magical, traditional animation will be used for the scenes where they move. It'll make for a very cool effect indeed, plus we need a little something traditionally animated in a CG Disney Animation film! The hook is also really cool, and it's magical too, like his tattoos!

I can only imagine how the film itself will look and feel, perhaps it'll be a big step forward for the painterly/2D-underbelly CG that Disney Animation has used for a majority of their post-Eisner films. I can see some sheds of that in the image.

Here's the video itself, complete with the film's animated logo and a taste of the film's music...

First off, this is a pretty a good way to start the film's marketing campaign. We didn't see them do this kind of thing for Zootopia, as the company probably considers this film - with its big scale, songs, its heroine, and international flavor - to be the bigger animated event picture of 2016. Zootopia is sure to be something special, and don't tell anyone, but I think I'm anticipating that one a little more than this one, personally!

Once again, it's great to know that Disney Animation is seeking out people of Oceanic descent for the roles in this film, whether they're Hawaiian, Samoan (The Rock is half-Samoan), Tahitian, and whatnot. So right now... Cravalho, The Rock, and Alan Tudyk will be voicing in this film. I'm sure we'll hear more about the cast sometime next spring, but it seems like animation is being completed for this film right now. I follow a lot of Disney animators and artists on Twitter, and it seems like Zootopia's animation will be completed a few weeks from now, if not sooner! Next up is the final touches stage, of course.

Talk about working around the clock! With all of that in mind, will a teaser for Moana come earlier than next summer? Next summer was when I expected it to drop, but with this video now out, who knows...

Anyways, what do you think of the final designs? Are you okay with the animation style they are going for? When do you think we'll get more news on this film? Sound off below!


  1. This looks awesome! Even though I wish it's fully painterly style, but at least it has traditional animation in it.

    1. NO, Wade. Whatever it is, it's NOT real traditional animation. At all. It's just misused effects. A waste of time and talent for such a brilliant animator like Eric Goldberg. The man deserves better than being relegated to just shadows.

  2. I just like the pose Moana has in her official art. I can tell she has a real adventurous personality--she's not a Rapunzel or Anna/Elsa clone; she looks like she's ready to take on the world.

  3. What a sad world we live in now when the art of traditional animation is being regulated to some kind of "effect" for CGI. Remember when it was the other way around and CGI was the effect for hand-drawn movies like Beauty and the Beast? Sometimes I wish CGI never became anything more than that.

    1. Agreed. It's because of this that I practically have no interest in this movie. CGI and hand drawn have traded places, and it is NOT good. For it to be demoted to just tattoos isn't just wasteful, it's a DISGRACE. Seriously.