Disney releases MOANA trailer


Disney’s newest princess is here. The full trailer for Moana, to be released November 23, hit the interwebs today and everyone is abuzz with excitement. So what does Culturess think?

We got our first glimpse of Disney’s newest Princess- the polynesian powerhouse Moana- a few months ago when Disney released a teaser trailer for their upcoming adventure fantasy, Moana (brought to you by the creative team behind Frozen) . The film will be released November 23rd, 2016, and people are more than a little excited. The vibrant animation and music have, seemingly, set up an out-of-this-world hit for Disney. We’re talkin’ Frozen type of hype, here.

So what do I think? Well, after watching the trailer no fewer than 19 times this morning, I’ve gathered some thoughts. Here ya go:

The Lesson: Although it’s not overly apparent, this “peaceful island” being threatened by a “great danger” is a big ole fat metaphor for our own world and the dangers that we face- dare I say the G word? Ahem. Global warming. There, I said it. I mean, the threat they show us is literally a flaming lava monster. Make of that what you will.

Global warm- I MEAN lava monster. Screencap taken from MOANA trailer, via Disney.

So the heroes that will “save us all”? Enter Moana and Maui. Through a little adventure, teamwork (of course), and a few musical numbers (I assume), the dynamic Polynesian duo will save the Island and all those who inhabit it. Just like we can save ourselves (Could save ourselves? Different debate for a different day…).

The Characters:

Moana! Moana is joining the non-white princesses in Disney’s arsenal: Pocahontas, Mulan, Jasmine, Elena (from the TV show) and Tiana. Excuse me if I’ve missed any. It’s refreshing to see another brown-skinned girl in the ranks. Even more, it seems that Moana is smart, strong, and brave. She and Merida (Brave) would get along great.

Another thing I love? There doesn’t seem to be a single hint of a love story in the trailer. I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see if the trailer delivers on the promise of leaving romantic feelings out of a children’s adventure movie- especially one with a female protagonist.

Maui, shapeshifter, demi-God of the wind and sea, hero of man (men? I couldn’t hear him very well) is… well… manly?

Look, I hate to be that person, but Maui is your garden variety “strong man” with an ego to match. And, it’s hard to tell from this trailer if his character arc will include him being less of a brutish bully jerkface.

"“I will not go on a mission with some… little girl.”"

Having said that, I will admit that I laughed at the part where he interrupts Moana to correct her when she gets his gajillion titles wrong (see :53 seconds in). There was an eye roll in there, though.  It does seem as though he softens to Moana, at least, albeit after he tosses her overboard from her own freaking canoe.

I mean, really?

He’s not without his own faults, though. At one point a single blow dart to the butt takes him down. So there’s that.

Blow dart to the tushy. Screencap from MOANA trailer, via Disney.

Favorite things from the trailer:


Kaka what? These little things. “They’re kinda… cute!”

They’re kinda cute! Screencap from MOANA trailer, via Disney.

And then they turn into…

Still cute. Want one. Plushie, anyone? Screencap taken from MOANA trailer, via Disney.

And this guy, who reminds me a heckuva lot of the squirrel from Ice Age. This guy seems to be Moana’s pet/friend. There’s also a pig, I guess, and he’s cute, too, but how often do you see animated pet chickens?

Pet chicken! Screencap taken from MOANA trailer, via Disney.

Moana will dazzle, regardless if it fails to allow its characters (especially Maui) to grow, mature, and change. You know, like what a story is supposed to do. The music, the visuals, and the voice acting are so far superb, and we can never have too many strong female leading characters- especially in a world run by Disney princesses.

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Moana will be released November 23rd, 2016.