Moana: Say “Aloha” to Disney’s Newest Princess!

Moana
Moana Waialiki

Disney Princesses.

The perfect click-bait and some of the most celebrated fictional role models to have emerged in the past decade.

They exude not only beauty and grace, but compassion, intelligence, and strength in all of its many forms. And while it may be hard to believe, it’s been almost three years since Disney released a princess-centered film, the last being – you guessed it – Frozen. Although I’m hard-pressed to say that Moana will be able to top its predecessor, the first trailer is chockful of worldbuilding and definitely looks promising.

MOANA
Moana and Maiu

With newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as the fearless Moana and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the self-proclaimed “greatest demi-god” Maui, Moana is set to be an epic adventure. The titular heroine – who happens to be tied with Snow White as the youngest Disney Princess and the ensemble’s fourth woman of color overall – is the daughter of a long line of navigators and seeks to explore the ocean so as to help her village for reasons yet unknown. From the few scenes we were privy to in the trailer, it’s clear that their ragtag crew will face several challenges along the way. Can anyone say sea monsters?

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The trailer, unfortunately, focuses more on Johnson’s character than Moana herself, though this is understandable from a marketing standpoint. The first few seconds of the trailer feature Maui sharing his daring escapades through the living tattoos on his body. I give him points for creativity. We then pan to Moana and her animal sidekick – a pig named Hua – looking unamused. The rest of the trailer is devoted to action shots of the journey ahead, including one of Moana looking fierce, Maui transforming into a bird, and a second animal sidekick – Hei Hei the rooster – derping around. The gorgeous cinematography of the trailer as well as the potential for Moana’s story to be purely action-orientated rather than a romance has gotten me and other fans hyped for November 23rd. The fact that Disney recruited a 14-year old native Hawaiian as the voice of Moana and looked to others for the film’s music just comes to show the amount of passion going into the project.

Moana & Crew
Moana and crew setting out on their voyage.
What do you look most forward to in the film? Leave a comment in the section below.
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