Back in 2020, when the Covid pandemic was in full swing and most entertainment giants were looking to the streaming lands as the Ultimate Salvation, Disney was quick to turn several of its key properties into potential TV series. Among them was Moana. Almost four years later, things are looking very different, with the ‘streaming bubble’ in the process of bursting and audiences doubling down on the theatrical experience and physical formats.
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Thus, we find ourselves surprised-but-not-really by the announcement of Moana 2, which is set to drop on November 27, 2024. You can watch the first look here, which seems to tease Moana has grown since we last saw her. Obviously, this is the streaming series reworked into a theatrical movie. It’s probably for the best, but we’re very curious about how that entire creative process looked like internally.
Via Variety, Disney’s official synopsis reads as follows: “Moana 2 will take audiences on an expansive new voyage with Moana, Maui and a brand-new crew of unlikely seafarers. 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.” A first-look image was also released alongside the description and the teaser:
The sequel is being directed by veteran Disney artist Dave Derrick Jr. (in his feature directorial debut), with music from Mark Mancina & Opetaia Foa’i alongside Grammy Award winners Emily Bear & Abigail Barlow. No, Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t expected to come back to co-write songs. Bummer!
Moana 2 is part of Disney’s renewed theatrical strategy following the underperformance of its streaming efforts and new IP launches, which essentially translates into a f**kton of sequels to huge animated hits from Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Also: Yes, this is happening alongside the Moana live-action remake that was announced almost a year ago. These are confusing times.