Moana Replaces All Other Disney Princesses, Future of Animated Films Changed Forever

in Disney, Movies

Moana on a boat wearing a headdress with fellow sailors in the background

Credit: Disney

Just one day after the first teaser trailer for Moana 2 (2024) premiered, the Polynesian Disney Princess hit a historic milestone for Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Originally conceived as an animated Disney+ series, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger announced the sequel to Moana (2016) in February. Previously, the Thanksgiving 2024 release was billed as an “untitled Walt Disney Animation Studios film.”

Moana looking surprised
Credit: Disney

The announcement shocked fans, coming just months after Iger revealed that Dwayne Johnson (“The Rock”) would reprise his role as Maui the Demigod in a live-action remake of Moana. Premiering just under ten years after the animated Disney Princess film on July 10, 2026, the live-action movie will mark the shortest timespan between an animated Disney feature and its remake.

Previously, Walt Disney Studios only remade decades-old films, like The Little Mermaid (1989)The Lion King (1994), and Pinocchio (1940).

Johnson will also reprise his role in the animated sequel alongside the original voice of Moana, Auli’i Cravalho. Cravalho will not portray the Disney Princess in the live-action remake.

Dwayne Johnson looking surprised in the movie Skyscraper
Credit: Universal Pictures

Walt Disney Animation Studios dropped the first trailer for Moana 2 on Wednesday, and fans are eating up the return to the Pacific Island of Motunui.

Just a day after premiering the first teaser trailer, The Walt Disney Company announced it was the most-watched Disney Animation trailer ever.

Maui (Dwayne Johnson) and Moana (Auliʻi Cravalho) pose in Disney's 'Moana'
Credit: Disney

“Thank you to fans around the world for coming with us on this new voyage, making the trailer for Moana 2 the most viewed animated Disney trailer of all time!” Disney wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “November 27th can’t come soon enough…”

Moana 2 premieres in theaters on November 27, 2024. The film will eventually come to Disney+, but an exact streaming release date isn’t yet available.

“‘Moana 2’ reunites Moana and Maui three years later for an expansive new voyage alongside a crew of unlikely seafarers,” The Walt Disney Company writes. “After receiving an unexpected call from her wayfinding ancestors, Moana must journey to the far seas of Oceania and into dangerous, long-lost waters for an adventure unlike anything she’s ever faced.”

Te Fiti rising out of the ocean
Credit: Disney

Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t returning to soundtrack the Disney Princess sequel.

“Directed by David Derrick Jr., Jason Hand and Dana Ledoux Miller, and produced by Christina Chen and Yvett Merino, ‘Moana 2’ features music by Grammy® winners Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, Grammy nominee Opetaia Foaʻi, and three-time Grammy winner Mark Mancina.”

What are you most looking forward to about Moana 2? In the comments, share your thoughts on the upcoming film with Inside the Magic. 

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