Lin-Manuel Miranda in Audience for Taylor Swift ‘Moana’ Reference in New Video Premiere

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taylor swift karma video featuring ice spice moana te fiti reference

Credit: ITM

Last night, May 26, 2023, didn’t just mark the official premiere of the live-action Little Mermaid; it was also the first night of Taylor Swift’s run at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey – the New York City area stop that the artist has always referenced as one of her favorites.

As such, the artist promised some extra “treats and goodies” for the fans present at the show – and boy did she deliver.

Not only did she bring Bleachers lead singer Jack Antanoff onstage to perform their song “Getaway Car;” she also brought popular up-and-coming rapper Ice Spice out at the end for a special finale surprise – but not before giving her audience a small taste of that surprise at the halfway point.

Swift used last night’s huge platform – and the giant screen at the stadium – to premiere her brand new music video, a remix of the song “Karma” from her latest album Midnights, featuring Ice Spice.

Related: Hilarious Video Shows Taylor Swift and Bodyguard Riding Disney Rides

The remix features an all new verse from Ice Spice, and the video showcases a smorgasbord of gorgeous and fun visual aesthetics to chew on.

One of those aesthetics may have also been a small nod to a Disney movie.

Did Taylor Swift Reference ‘Moana’ In Her New “Karma” Video?

taylor swift karma video featuring ice spice moana te fiti reference
Credit: Taylor Swift

Related: Ryan Reynolds Would “Do Anything” to Bring Taylor Swift Into the MCU

One moment in the video in particular would stand out to any Disney fan: Beginning with the lyric “Karma is the thunder / Rattling the ground,” you can see the outline of a mountain through the clouds, sort of taking the shape of a woman lying on her side.

When we zoom in, you can see that the mountain is in fact Taylor herself, posed just like Te Fiti does at the end of Disney’s Moana – just in time for the lyric “Karma brings all my friends to the summit.” (Ice Spice, meanwhile, looks on at her from the clouds – as a cloud.)

This could very easily be an unintentional coincidence – there are dozens of islands in the world that are famous for looking like sleeping women, and “Karma” deals with themes of karmic balance on a global scale, so it makes sense that she would use a personification of the Earth itself somewhere in the video.

However, we have another reason to believe this might have at least been a tiny nod to Moana.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Was at the Taylor Swift Concert in New Jersey

One of the many celebrity sightings at last night’s Taylor Swift Concert at MetLife Stadium was none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda himself; He was photographed enjoying a drink in a private box, while his friends sang along to opening act Phoebe Bridgers in the background.

lin-manuel miranda at the metlife stadium taylor swift concert eras tour May 26 2023
Credit: Twitter/@UpdatingSwiftly

Related: VIDEO: Watch a deleted scene from “Moana” with an unused song by Lin-Manuel Miranda

While it’s true that Swift’s brief mountain pose in the video could have been there for any number of reasons, we think it’s interesting that the composer of Moana – the very film she appears to be referencing – just so happened to be present in the stadium on the very night she premiered the video.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Taylor Swift actually go way back. While the two may not be known to be particularly close, Miranda wrote a song for Swift back in 2009, before either of them were truly “world famous.”

No, you won’t find a Lin-Manuel Miranda song on any Taylor Swift album; if you want to hear that 14-year-old collaboration, you’ll have to watch the promo for the 2009 MTV VMAs, where she sang a parody of West Side Story’s “Tonight” that Miranda wrote.

It could all be a coincidence, but knowing that Taylor Swift struck a deal with Disney a year ago to direct a feature film, we’re wondering if it could also be a hint of collaborations to come.

Do you think Taylor Swift made that Moana reference on purpose? Do you think she could be working with Lin-Manuel Miranda? Let us know in the comments.

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