Disney just dropped a massive Moana surprise: the multi-award winning animation is getting a sequel, and you can see a sneak peek of it right now (in the video below). The sequel, Moana 2, will be released in theaters on November 27, 2024, and will of course be coming to Disney Plus too.
Here’s your first look at #Moana2, only in theaters this November pic.twitter.com/dYBmFMzfceFebruary 7, 2024
We had already been saying that the hit island musical animation desperately needed a sequel, so this is music to our ears. According to Disney, the new film will take you “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”.
Moana 2: What we know so far
Moana 2 will be directed by Dave Derrick Jr. with music by Grammy winners Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, Grammy nominee Opetaia Foa’i, and three-time Grammy winner Mark Mancina. The trailer is a teaser so it doesn’t show us very much or reveal much of the plot, but in addition to Moana we can hear Maui’s voice and there’s a whale shark that looks like a visual echo of Moana’s grandma from the first movie.
The original movie attracted lots of great reviews. Although it’s technically a Disney princess movie it’s more nuanced and has more depth than you might expect, and it’s a genuinely beautiful movie too. The soundtrack is superb, the visuals are gorgeous and it’s one of the most delightful Disney movies in recent years.
The film also attracted a lot of positive responses for its representation. Moana looks very different to your typical Disney princess, and her story is different too. Writing for news.com.au, Wenlei Ma found that it was a quietly feminist movie. “Perhaps the most encouraging part of Moana’s feminism is its subtlety. It presents female agency as nothing out of the ordinary – it doesn’t comment on it, there is no patriarchy she’s fighting back against and there’s no love story.”
Autostraddle found it “deeply moving” and noted that the “magical, powerful and brown” Moana is “a refreshing difference from the white Disney princesses we’ve seen in recent years”. While the representation of Pacific Islanders could have been better, the film had a special appeal for LGBTQ+ people who “walk into the unknown future, but we use our ancestors to guide us… we sing songs and set out on our own”.
If that makes Moana sound tediously worthy, that’s my bad: the film is anything but. As I previously wrote about the movie: “Moana’s independence is just something that’s innately there rather than anything requiring backstory – her desire to see and experience more is so engaging, and the whole movie sweeps you away when Lin-Manuel Miranda’s incredible songs hit. ”
Total Film says that “despite Dwayne Johnson’s solid scene-stealing, the wave-taming Moana gets a true hero’s journey in this South Seas stunner”. Cinemania Spain said that “Moana’s animation and soundtrack are masterful, the best that the studio have done in two decades”. And RTE Ireland said “don’t be surprised if you’re singing – badly – all the way home”.
Moana is streaming now on Disney Plus, while Moana 2 will be released in November 2024.