Fans of Disney rejoice as Bob Iger announces Moana 2 is slated for a November 2024 release. The news surprised many, seeing that a TV series was in development, but during Disney’s Q1 earnings report, CEO Bob Iger revealed the switch from a Disney+ series to a theatrical film. Moana 2 is most likely set to take Disney’s traditional animated holiday release slot.
A Sign Of Things To Come?
As Disney works on streamlining their streaming and animation pictures, it makes sense to roll the animated series into a film. The 2016 film was released to critical acclaim and is renowned for its beautiful animation and popular songs. Moana 2 will cover a similar path to the original movie.
The First Film’s Story
In Disney’s Moana, a spirited and adventurous young Polynesian girl sets sail on a daring journey across the vast ocean to save her island home. Along the way, she teams up with the demigod Maui, encountering mythical creatures, overcoming treacherous obstacles, and discovering her own identity as she fulfills her destiny to restore the heart of Te Fiti and bring balance to the world.
Moana 2 should excite fans as it marks a new journey featuring our beloved heroes Moana and Maui and a new slate of characters. Answering the calls of her ancestors, Moana must set out to explore the dangerous and unexplored waters of Oceania. The journey set ahead for her is unlike any she has faced before.
David Derrick Jr. will direct the latest film in the franchise, and Moana 2 will act as his directorial debut. Derrick has a work history as a story writer and storyboard artist in animation. Previously, he worked on films such as Megamind, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Encanto. Moana 2 will feature music by Abigail Barlow, Emily Bear, Fao’i, and Mark Mancina. All of whom have either won or earned Grammy nominations.
The Accolades Of The Original
More Moana makes sense, seeing that the original 2016 film Moana won two Grammys and raked in $687 million at the global box office. It was a massive feat for a budget of around $150-175 million, making it a box office smash. Addressed by Iger in the Q1 call, he shared that Moana was the most-watched film on Disney+, with over a billion hours streamed. Making Moana 2 a likely fit to help save the studio’s recent track record at the box office.
A Buoy For Disney
Bob Iger was excited about announcing a sequel to his platform’s most-watched film of 2023. During the Q1 call, Iger shared, “Moana remains a top-rated franchise,” Iger continued, “and we can’t wait to give you more of Moana and Maui when Moana 2 comes to theaters this November.” The call addressed the focus on more Disney-originated films in place of Marvel domination.
Who Is Returning?
Ron Clements, John Muscker, and Don Hall directed the original Moana. The film stars Alui’i Cravalho voicing the title character Moana and Dwyane Johnson as Maui—the original featured Oscar-nominated song “How Far I’ll Go” by Lin-Manual Maranda. At the time of writing, we ware unaware who would return to the franchise outside of Cravalho and Fao’i, who helped write the soundtrack for the first film. But for those anticipating more from the Moana franchise featuring more Johnson, he is set to reprise his role in the live-action adaptation set for theatrical release on June 27, 2025.