Moana is an upcoming 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and the 56th film in Disney’s animated features canon. The film is being directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson provide the lead voices. It is scheduled to be released by Walt Disney Pictures on November 23, 2016.
In ancient Oceania in the South Pacific, the young Moana is a born navigator who sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her journey, she teams up with her hero and legendary demi-god Maui.
After directing The Princess and the Frog (2009), Clements and Musker started working on an adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Mort, but problems acquiring the film rights to that property prevented them from continuing with the project. To avoid similar problems, they pitched three new ideas, and in 2011 started developing the film based on an original idea. In 2012, Clements and Musker went on research trips to Fiji, Samoa, and Tahiti to meet the people of the South Pacific and learn about their culture.
Moana will be Clements and Musker’s first mainly computer-animated film. One of the reasons for using computer animation was that the environment, including the ocean, benefited much more from the use of CGI as opposed to a traditional animation. The filmmakers also discovered that three-dimensional computer animation is naturally good at generating the sculpted faces of the people of the South Pacific. Maui’s tattoos will be hand-drawn.
Taika Waititi wrote the script for the film. Eric Goldberg worked on the animation. The film will feature music by Opetaia Foaʻi, Mark Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.