Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) holds an oar in a still for Disney's 'Moana 2'
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Disney Spills New ‘Moana 2’ Details and Yeah, Consider Us Excited

Just how far will Moana go this time?

Prepare to set sail because Moana is set to make her triumphant return to the big screen in Disney’s (not-so-cleverly titled) Moana 2. Until then, however, more information has come to light about the upcoming sequel thanks to a new poster, which will see our wayward princess traveling far from home.

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly a decade since audiences were first introduced to the world of Moana, and with it, the irresistible catchiness of musical numbers like “You’re Welcome” and “How Far I’ll Go.” The movie is somewhat groundbreaking in its own right, having finally brought a Polynesian princess to the forefront, voiced by a then-16-year-old Auli’i Cravalho. (She has gone on to have a prolific voice acting career and starred in 2024’s Mean Girls.)

Moana was a smash hit upon its release in 2016, meaning it was something of a given that Disney would greenlight a sequel. For years, fans speculated about the chances of a Moana 2, with talk of a Disney+ series even circulating around the internet at one point. Oddly enough, however, the first news of a new Moana project came via a (somewhat uncanny valley) video featuring Dwayne Johnson, who revealed that a live-action remake was in the works with a—mostly—new cast. I mean, who’s really surprised? This is the House of Mouse we’re dealing with, after all.

Seemingly out of the blue, Disney did eventually confirm that an animated Moana sequel was well into production in February of this year, with CEO Bob Iger and Co. teasing a brand new voyage for the fan-favorite princess—and with a surprisingly early release window of November 2024. After initially being conceptualized as a Disney+ series, Iger confirmed that Moana 2 was indeed reworked into a feature-length film due to its impressive quality, which, yeah, is probably a wise move, especially given subscribers’ growing resentment of streaming-exclusive releases.

According to IMBd, Cravalho, Johnson, and Alan Tudyk (a longtime Disney staple) are the only listed members of the voice ensemble thus far, but we can likely expect to see several more A-listers sign on as it nears its release date. David G. Derrick Jr. will take the reins this time around, replacing 2016’s Moana directors, Ron Clements, John Musker, and Don Hall.

With both a sequel and a live-action remake underway, it’s certainly an exciting time to be a fan of the Moana franchise, and according to a new update, the release of the first full-length trailer is right around the corner.

What is Moana 2 about? Story details, trailer, and new poster

On Tuesday, May 28, Disney Animation offered an exciting Moana 2 update, sharing a sneak peek at the new adventure with the first official poster. We were given some story details back in April, but other than that, the sequel has been shrouded in mystery. The new poster admittedly doesn’t answer too many of our burning questions, but it does show Maui’s (Johnson) fish hook cleverly curved into the number “2,” with Moana blowing what seems to be a conch shell on the beach in the background. It was also announced that the trailer will be released on Wednesday, May 29, meaning we won’t have to wait much longer to get a glimpse at the first footage.

Per the official synopsis, “In Walt Disney Animation Studios’ all-new epic animated musical, Moana 2, three years since her first voyage, Moana is on an expansive journey in search of people beyond the shores of Motunui. Joined by Maui and a brand-new crew of unlikely seafarers, Moana must journey to the far seas of Oceania and into dangerous, long-lost waters for an adventure unlike anything she’s ever faced.”

From the sound of it, Moana 2 will pick up on many plot threads introduced in the first film, but will expand on the Moana universe by featuring mysterious new lands and characters—and hey, maybe even some new demigods! There’s plenty of expansive folklore and mythology for Disney to work off of here, so it will be interesting to see how much of that is integrated into the story. Either way, it’ll do the franchise some good to introduce new characters into the mix, as the first film had a relatively small cast. Seeing Moana and Maui interact with strangers in an unfamiliar setting could really up the stakes, taking a different direction from Moana’s coming-of-age origin story—one that will (hopefully) further demonstrate her wayfinding abilities.

Despite Disney Animation’s solid track record of delivering hit after hit, it’ll be difficult to top the success of the first Moana. Although reuniting some of the original cast and crew might help to replicate the same magic of its predecessor, Moana 2 could fall victim to moviegoers’ growing destain for reboots and spinoffs, with Disney often being accused of chasing dollar signs over crafting well-executed, original stories.

Honestly, though, Moana 2 seems like a guaranteed hit for Disney. Similarly to 2013’s Frozen, the first movie captivated audiences with a refreshed take on the classic princess fable, putting Moana’s curiosity and sense of adventure in the spotlight in favor of, say, a fantastical romance. If the sequel picks up on the storylines introduced in the first film and expands on the vast world of wayfaring—especially beyond Moana’s island home—then we’re almost certainly in for a good time at the movies. Plus, composers Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear will be stepping in for Lin-Manuel Miranda this time, marking the first time two female songwriters (and the youngest, at that) will score a Disney film, along with Moana veterans Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina. Suffice it to say, we can expect a whole new batch of bangers to accompany the film.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a while to see where the adventure takes Moana and Maui next, as Moana 2 is slated to open in theaters just in time for the Thanksgiving box office on November 27, 2024.


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Amanda Landwehr
Amanda is a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer who lives and breathes Star Wars, Marvel, and all things pop culture. She has worked in digital media since 2021, covering the latest movie/TV releases, casting updates, fan theories, and so, so much more. When she's not rotting away behind her laptop screen, you can typically catch Amanda maxing out her AMC Stubs membership.