Disney announces new female-led film Moana

The animated adventure follows in the wake of Maleficent and Frozen

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Disney has announced a new animated movie, Moana, about an adventurous teenager who takes to the seas in search of an island.

The film will be directed by The Little Mermaid's Ron Clements and Jon Musker and is tipped for a late 2016 release.

Following the recent huge success of Frozen and Maleficent, Moana looks set to be female-led once again, in a similar vein to Mulan and Pocahontas.

The official plot synopsis reads: "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."

Clements said in a statement that Moana is "one of the great thrills of [his] career" and promised a "big adventure set in this beautiful world of Oceania".

"Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself," Musker added. "She's the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences."


Disney came under fire in 2009 after The Princess and the Frog was widely dismissed as a box office flop, despite taking $267 million worldwide on a $105m budget, according to Forbes.

Some critics argued that it disappointed because of the word 'princess' in the title, leading the studio to change Rapunzel to Tangled and conceal the well-known storyline in promotional materials. The film went on to gross $600 million at the global box office.

Last year's Frozen was praised for its two lead female characters and female director, Jennifer Lee. It was named the highest-grossing animated Disney film of all-time in January after earning a massive $1.28 billion worldwide.