Get ready for another Disney heroine to obsess over: Disney Animation announced today that it will release its 56th animated feature, Moana, in late 2016.
Moana is described as a “a sweeping, CG-animated comedy-adventure,” and takes place in ancient Oceania in the South Pacific. The film will tell the story of its titular character, a teenage girl and “born navigator” who “sets sail in search of a fabled island,” according to a summary from Disney. “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,” Disney reveals.
The creative team behind Moana, which is CG-animated, has some serious Disney pedigree: Directors Ron Clements and John Musker also helmed The Little Mermaid and Aladdin among others. “Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” Musker said in a statement. “She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences.”
There is already a strong Internet fanbase for the Polynesian Moana, who was previously expected to make her debut in 2018, and she serves as an example of Disney furthering representation of diverse and minority characters.