Disney fans got a major surprise on Feb. 7 when CEO of Disney Bob Iger announced the upcoming release of “Moana 2.” Until this unexpected announcement, nothing had been confirmed about a sequel to the original 2016 animated feature “Moana.”
However, Disney announced a live-action remake of the movie last year, and Walt Disney World will open a new “Moana”-themed attraction called Journey of Water at EPCOT this fall, so “Moana” appears to be a franchise Disney wants to lean into right now.
Iger said that “Moana 2” will debut in theaters on Nov. 27, 2024. It is not common for movies to have such a short lead time from announcement to release, but Disney saw inspiration in a different project that encouraged them to set sail on this new adventure.
“This was originally developed as a series,” explained Iger on the company’s earnings call Wednesday, “but we were impressed with what we saw and felt it deserved a theatrical release.”
So, what can fans expect from the new movie? Walt Disney Animation gave a hint of what’s to come in a press release:
“Walt Disney Animation Studios’ epic animated musical ‘Moana 2’ takes audiences 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.”
Disney also shared a short teaser for the upcoming film. The 16-second clip gives the world a glance at Moana, apparently on her island, sounding a call with a conch shell:
There is no word, yet, on whether “Moana” original stars Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) and Dwayne Johnson (Maui) will return to reprise their roles. Both are still working on a live-action remake of the original “Moana,” which was announced in 2023. Cravalho will not play Moana in the live-action film, but she is an executive producer.
Johnson, who will pick up the mighty hook to play Maui in the live-action version, is also a producer on that film. He hasn’t confirmed involvement in the animated sequel, but he tweeted the clip with the release date:
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 8, 2024
Iger told investors that the live-action “Moana” is moving forward in development, even with this new film announcement.
“Moana remains an incredibly popular franchise,” Iger said during the call.
And numbers don’t lie. During the investor’s call, Iger shared that “Moana” recently crossed 1 billion streaming hours on Disney+, making it 2023’s most streamed movie.
The original “Moana” earned more than $643 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo.
Watch Disney’s first-look clip of ‘Moana 2,’ coming to theaters this year originally appeared on Simplemost.com