Moana is Disney’s November-bound animated film that puts a spotlight on a Polynesian princess, the first of her kind in a Disney movie. The titular character is voiced by newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, an unknown in the acting world. In the latest trailer for the film, we do not get to hear much of Cravalho; rather, the teaser spends much of its time on Dwayne Johnson, who voices the demigod Maui.
Johnson, known primarily for his wrestling persona The Rock, seems perfectly suited for the role. At first, I didn’t realize he was the first person speaking in the trailer. As soon as his animated-self arched his eyebrow (love it, Disney), it hit me that The Rock may actually be really great in this movie.
The other big takeaways from the trailer?
- Moana’s sidekick pig may be the cutest thing since Winston from Feast
- They’re putting Lin-Manuel Miranda’s name front and center, especially after his big Tony Awards night on Sunday
- Miranda’s music is also highlighted in the trailer; it reminds me of Tarzan’s songs by Phil Collins, and for good reason: Mark Mancina is also writing the score, and he was one of the co-composers on Tarzan
- The animation looks crisp, clean and colorful; people have been saying how much it reminds them of Hercules
- Maui’s tattoos were drawn by Eric Goldberg, the same person who drew the Genie from Aladdin
- The film will be released on Thanksgiving Day, 2016