The first image for Disney’s next Princess adventure, Moana, has been released, along with more details about the company’s upcoming animation. Disney’s 56th animated feature film will hit screens late 2016 and focuses on the story of ‘Moana’ – a Polynesian ‘Princess’ who sets out on a quest to fulfill an ancestor’s quest. Labelled as an ‘adventure-comedy’, Moana is to be directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who were behind the box office smash hits that were Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and more recently, The Princess and The Frog. Taika Waititi, best known for his work with Flight of the Conchords, Eagle vs Shark and What We Do in the Shadows is said to be behind the script, which encompasses elements of ancient Oceanic and Polynesian folklore, as well as the mythology behind Maui and the history of navigators in this culture as well. The story, set some 2000 years ago, journeys across a series of islands in the South Pacific and is said to have an ‘epic’ theme about it.
The official press release from Disney Animation Studios says of Moana:
“In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she 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.”
The character of Moana is described as an ‘indomitable, passionate dreamer’ with a unique connection to the ocean. Only the fifth Disney ‘princess’ figure of colour, she joins the list of recent female Disney leads who have been outside the ‘conventional’ princess model. More information is still to follow about this film, though from the first image released above, it’s sure to be a brilliantly painted picture.