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Disney’s ‘Moana’ Series Is Now A Feature, Scheduled To Hit Theaters Thanksgiving Weekend

The Moana sequel was initially developed as a series but has been retooled by the company for a theatrical release. According to Iger, “We were impressed with what we saw, and we knew it deserved a theatrical release. The original Moana film from 2016 recently crossed 1 billion hours streamed on Disney+ and was the most streamed movie of 2023 on any platform in the U.S.”

Due to the change-up, Moana 2 will mark the theatrical feature debut of director David G. Derrick Jr., a Calarts grad who served as a story artist on the first Moana film and was helming the series adaptation. At Disney, he has also worked as a board artist on the cg remake of The Lion King, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Encanto. Before that, Derrick spent nearly a decade at Dreamworks Animation, where he storyboarded on films including How to Train Your Dragon, Rise of the Guardians, Megamind, Bee Movie, and Flushed Away.

When the Moana series was announced, Derrick explained, “Working on Moana was a gift, personally and professionally. The film Moana caught and shared the spirit of Polynesia with the world. I am honored to continue her story and to celebrate the rich and beautiful cultures of the Pacific Islands.”



Moana 2 will feature music by Abigail Barlow, Emily Bear, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina. No casting details have been announced yet, but Iger did say Moana and Maui would appear in the film. Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson voiced those characters in the original movie.

A brief logline for Moana 2 reads:

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.

In addition to making the Moana 2 announcement during Wednesday’s call, Iger confirmed that Pixar’s Elio and Disney’s Zootopia 2 are on track for theatrical releases next year. The CEO also mentioned that Frozen 3 and a new Toy Story film are both part of the company’s plans for the future.

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Credit: cartoonbrew

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