Usually, Disney announces its animated films years in advance. The animation process takes so long that they schedule their releases months and months ahead. Even their direct-to-video sequels were revealed well before their street date. The Mouse Factory pulling what they just did this afternoon, with a product everyone was demanding no less, is unprecedented. Guess what — Moana 2 is coming. THIS November.
According to Variety, Bob Iger revealed the movie out of nowhere just before an earnings report on CNBC, saying “Moana remains an incredibly popular franchise. We can’t wait to give you more of Moana and Maui when Moana 2 comes to theaters this November.” November 27 to be precise. As someone once said, you’re welcome!
The exact plot hasn’t been revealed beyond this vague description: “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.” Auli’i Cravalho will be back as the title character’s voice, and we’re assuming Dwayne Johnson will return as Maui too.
Moana has remained one of Disney’s most popular modern films since it came out, and the first feature was in fact the most watched movie of the Disney+ library in 2023. You’d think if a sequel was in development someone would have at least leaked that information. How’d they sneak this one past us for so long?
The truth is, Disney originally announced SOMETHING involving Moana years ago, in the form of a TV series. Everyone assumed up to this point that’s what they were working on. But somewhere along the line the studio decided the story would be better as a movie than a show, and they told no one until now.
Soooo….this means we can now drop the dumb idea of making an extremely early live-action remake of the first Moana, right? Uh, wrong. Disney confirmed that one is still in development.