With only a few weeks left before Walt Disney Animation”s Marvel Comics adaptation “Big Hero 6” hits theaters, the studio has added another feature to its pipeline. The Mouse House revealed plans Monday for “Moana,” a CG-animated comedy-adventure about “a spirited teenager on an impossible mission to fulfill her ancestors' quest.”
”Moana” is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, best known for Disney staples like “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin.” The directing duo”s last feature was 2009″s severely under-appreciated ”The Princess and the Frog.” (Parents, are we showing this one to our kids? Get on that!). “Moana” is expected to sail into theaters in late 2016.
Disney”s press release explains that “Moana” is set in the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania. In search of a fabled island, Moana “teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.”
“Creating ‘Moana” is one of the great thrills of our career,” said Clements in a statement. “It”s a big adventure set in this beautiful world of Oceania.” If it”s as sweeping as “Treasure Planet” (another Clements gem!), count me in.
If John Musker is to be believed, “Moana” should continue Disney”s re-invention of the “Princess” brand that turned 2013″s “Frozen” into the fifth highest grossing movie of all time, “Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” the director said in the same statement. “She's the kind of character we all root for, and we can't wait to introduce her to audiences.”
“Moana” joins another Walt Disney Animated film, “Zootopia,” Pixar's “Finding Dory,” and an untitled “Star Wars” standalone film on Walt Disney Pictures' 2016 slate.
Here's the full concept art that arrived with the announcement: