Disney introduces its first Polynesian princess in the first teaser for its new film named for her: Moana. Based on real Pacific island mythology, Moana will tell the story of the daughter of a Polynesian chief from a long line of navigators who sets out on an epic ocean voyage to save her people with the help of the demigod Maui and her pet pig Pua.
The movie stars Auli’i Cravalho as Moana in the 14-year-old native Hawaiian’s first screen role ever. She is joined by Dwayne Johnson, who plays Maui, a character that very much resembles his voice actor with his inflated, muscle-y bod and lively eyebrows. The minute-and-a-half teaser focuses on Maui as he proudly explains who he is: “only the greatest demigod in all the Pacific islands,” who pulled islands out of the ocean, slowed down the sun with a giant fishhook and battled enormous sea monsters. Though the only taste of voice acting we get from Cravalho is an “um,” the teaser does satisfy Lin-Manuel Miranda fans with a sampling of his gorgeous soundtrack, reminiscent of The Lion King’s score, with Miranda’s voice at the forefront.
We fully expect the film to be as visually stunning as it is audibly. The teaser offers looks at a bit of the oceanic setting, which is beautiful enough to make you immediately open up a new browser tab and search flights to Hawaii (which are quite pricey, so we’ll just look forward to seeing more island sunset eye candy in the movie theater this fall).
Moana is the first movie directed (and written) by duo Ron Clements and John Musker to be done with computer animation. The pair have a long history with Disney, being responsible for The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Treasure Planet and The Frog Princess, which was their most recent film with the studio.
Moana will hit theaters on Nov. 23. Watch the first teaser above.