The film will open wide in theaters November 27, 2024. It is an animated feature and is separate from the live-action “Moana” film starring original animated star Dwayne Johnson that remains in the works for a summer 2025 release. Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the news on CNBC ahead of the company’s earnings call on Wednesday.
“Moana 2” was previously developed as a Disney+ series, but it will now be made into a feature film with a theatrical release. It’s unclear which (if any) cast from the original animated hit is involved.
Check out the first look and a teaser trailer below:
Per an official Disney release, “Moana 2” is “another animated musical that 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, according to the official synopsis.”
The film is directed by Dave Derrick Jr. with music by Grammy winners Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear, Grammy nominee Opetaia Foa’i, and three-time Grammy winner Mark Mancina.
“Moana” has been a mega hit for Disney and second to only “Frozen” in terms of 2010s box office success for Walt Disney Animation. The original musical, featuring the voice of Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson, has grossed $687 million worldwide between its original 2016 release and subsequent re-releases. The live-action “Moana” will star Johnson and is being directed by Thomas Kail.
But “Moana” also remains a mega hit on streaming. Though it’s seven years old, Nielsen reported that “Moana” was, by a mile, the No. 1 most streamed movie of 2023, bringing in 11.6 billion viewing minutes throughout the year for Disney+, an all-time high among Nielsen rankings for movies. The next closest title was “Encanto,” also on Disney+, which notched 9.7 billion minutes.
That 11.6 billion minutes is nearly as much as entire seasons of Netflix hits like “Outer Banks” and “The Lincoln Lawyer” were watched in 2023, and this was just for a single film. And Nielsen says that “since Nielsen began measuring streaming, audiences have watched nearly 80 billion minutes of ‘Moana,’ which translates to watching the full movie 775 million times.”
“Moana” is set in ancient Polynesia and is the story of a girl who seeks out the demigod Maui to alleviate a curse on her island. The film was directed by Ron Clements, John Musker, and Don Hall and featured original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Disney in its 2024 Q1 earnings report lost 1.3 million subscribers to Disney+ following a price hike, but the service now only lost $138 million in its direct-to-consumer division, suggesting that profitability for Disney+ is in sight and on pace for the company’s fiscal 2024.