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D23 Expo 2015: ‘Moana’ Unveils Musical Team, Logo, Story Details

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Moana Logo

Fresh from D23’s Disney Animation panel, we have new details about Disney’s November 2016 release, Moana, directed by the legendary duo of Ron Clements and John Musker.

The film will bring its music to life with Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, giving the South Pacific setting an authentic sound. We can perhaps expect something similar to the stylings of Lilo & Stitch‘s beautiful Hawaiian feel.

The story involves Moana (whose name means “ocean”), a young girl who dreams of adventure. Moana’s father disapproves of sea voyaging, but her grandmother encourages it with legends of Maui, a demigod voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (who made a surprise appearance at the panel).

Also, the film is keeping its original title. For a while, there were rumors of changing the title from the story’s protagonist to an adjective along the lines of Tangled or Frozen.

All this news is coming pretty fast. How pumped are you for Moana?

Edited by: Kelly Conley

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About Blake Taylor

Blake graduated Appalachian State University studying Electronic Media Production/Broadcasting and Film. He is currently a participant of the Disney College Program. Blake’s favorite films are Mary Poppins, The Lion King, and Toy Story 3. You can find him on Twitter (@blake_242) and visit his blog at blakeonline.com.
  • Yuri Nekel


    • Not Without

      This is def going to be VERY much the Lion King music. Mark Mancina who worked with Zimmer on the Lion King is really at home here. This is going to be a soulful flavorful score. It’s gonna be the freshest sound from a Disney film since the Lion King.

      • Yuri Nekel

        Tbh since Lin-Manuel Miranda is involved in this I really hope it has some rapping in the movie. I’m sorry.

        • Not Without

          ugh, his rapping is so didactic though. he’s really good at writing power ballads.

          • Yuri Nekel

            I’m sure of one thing though he’s so gonna EGOT.

      • V

        I thought Lilo and Stitch had pretty “fresh” music. And when the Vuelie started playing at the beginning of Frozen, people sat up and paid ATTENTION.

  • When do you think we’ll know who voices Moana? We still have a long, long way to go but at this point, I did expect that at least (I’m not convinced it’s this woman from Fifth Harmony).

    • Not Without

      So weird how late voiceover work goes with cg

  • I am more excited to see whose gonna voice Moana
    I hope it isn’t the girl from Fifth Harmony but someone with a more “classical” tone or something like that, but it would be awesome with someone who has Hawaiian decent or something close to that, that’s what would make me fall for this movie
    Also loving that their going for a more similar music theme as Lilo and Stitch too!!!

    • Evelyn Starshine

      Given that they auditioned in New Zealand, Hawaii, Tahiti and Samoa for actual pasifika voice actors, if they go for an american with just Hawaiian decent, that’s still less than awesome.

  • Ryan Prieto

    As someone who has strong connections with Hawaii, and Maui in particular, I am so very excited for this movie. As an animation fan D23, is making me very excited.

  • Iftekhar Ahmed

    Moana may end up outperforming Frozen because of The Rock being featured in it!

  • Lauren Banks

    This is the most excited I’ve been for a Disney animated film in a long time! I think they can do so much with the theming of this film

  • Tim Tran


    • Yellow


    • Teejay Thomson

      Just me or does this look like an older Tip from Home

      • Tim Tran

        modern CG animated films always have females with huge eyes. so you probably think of Tip because of her wavy hair, brown skin, not-petite nose, and huge eyes.

  • curtsy40

    This will be a bigger hit than Frozen box office wise. I’m already calling it. Merchandise wise…we will see.

    • rbrtck

      The grand irony here is that Moana, even well before its release, has become the most overhyped animated feature around, at least among Disney/animation fans (a miniscule portion of the movie-going public). I just hope it’s at least a decent movie, and if it is, then I hope that it does well at the box office. If it’s even better and does even better, than great, but you guys must be psychic to know so much with such absolute certainty!

      None of this is the movie’s fault, so I won’t hold this against it. I wish that I could say the same for people in general should the movie not QUITE meet their sky-high expectations….

      • curtsy40

        YES. The hype for this is bigger than Frozen was before it’s release. There is already a Moana fanbase! I agree, its way to early to predict. But Dwayne Johnson was said to be crying after watching the clips shown at D23, he said he is so deeply moved by being a part of this movie. If Dwayne Johnson CRIES, I rest my case, this will be a pretty good film. I’m not taking it way too seriously though with the box office predictions. Just having fun theories. But for a fact, Moana will be a hit at the least by Wreck it Ralph and Tangled numbers.