Disney Announces Surprise Moana Sequel

It's coming to theaters November 27
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2024 12:30 AM CST
Disney Announces Surprise Moana Sequel
A scene from "Moana 2," expected in theaters November 2024.   (Walt Disney Animation Studios via AP)

A sequel to Disney's beloved Moana will hit theaters around Thanksgiving this year. Disney made the surprise Moana 2 announcement Wednesday during an earnings call, Variety reports. CEO Bob Iger says Disney was initially working on a TV series that would follow the 2016 film, but "we were impressed by what we saw and knew it deserved a theatrical release." It will be released November 27, the Guardian reports. Highlighting how popular Moana continues to be, Iger said that in 2023, the movie was streamed for more than a billion hours on Disney+, making it the streaming service's most watched film for the year, Deadline reports.

Disney says the sequel involves 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." It's not clear who will be voicing the characters, but others who worked on the original will return, including Opetaia Foa'i and Mark Mancina, who are writing the songs along with newcomers Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who worked on the music in the original, is not expected to return.

An announcement of a major theatrical film so close to its release date is "unusual," per the Guardian, and making this more of a surprise is the fact that a live-action version of Moana is already in the works for 2025. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will reprise his role as Maui, but it's not clear who will play Moana: Auli'i Cravalho, who voiced her in the original film, says she will not star in the live-action version, but she will act as an executive producer. (More Disney stories.)

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