‘Moana’ Trailer: The Rock and a Wacky Rooster Make Animated Waves
Not long ago, Walt Disney Animation Studios was all but left for dead. Disney subsidiary Pixar was the animated world’s critical darling, and its frequent box office champ. As 2D animation began to lose favor with audiences, so did a lot of Disney proper’s offerings. But the last few years have seen the Mouse House rebound in a major way, with some of the biggest animated hits in the company’s history, including Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia, which made a whopping $1 billion worldwide earlier this year.
Disney looks to continue that hot streak with Moana, an animated adventure that draws on the legends of the South Pacific, and features an unusual sort of Disney heroine. The title character (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) is a brave teen who teams with a demigod (Dwayne Johnson) and a wacky rooster (as himself) to find a mystical island. Here’s the official plot synopsis:
Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.
The voice cast also includes Nicole Scherzinger, Temuera Morrison, and Alan Tudyk as Hei Hei, who would be the aforementioned wacky pet rooster. Plus Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda provides some of Moana’s songs and the film’s directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, made such Disney classics as The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. It sounds like a winning formula, and another potential Disney smash. Moana opens in theaters on November 23.