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‘Moana’ Featurette Debuts First Footage of Disney’s Animated Island Adventure

Disney’s next animated film (after Zootopia, of course) is Moana, which adds another diverse female character to their lineup with the tale of a young South Pacific girl who embarks on a daring adventure to find a mythical island. The film doesn’t hit theaters until next November, but this new featurette gives us our first look at some actual (but brief) footage from Moana.

Oahu, Hawaii native Auli’i Cravalho won the titular voice role after a nationwide search, joining Dwayne Johnson in the role of a burly demi-god named Maui. As you can see in the new featurette from Disney Channel On the Set, Maui is not only lively, he’s sort of larger than life — and Johnson is the sort of huge, charismatic presence that fits perfectly for the role, particularly alongside a newcomer like Cravalho.

In keeping with their more recent animated projects, Moana won’t feature your typical Disney Princess type — she’s more ambitious, strong-willed and independent than the demure damsels in distress of the past. She isn’t even described as a princess in the official synopsis, and it’s good to see the studio moving away from those roles:

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.

Moana is also a musical, which features both Johnson and Cravalho performing their characters’ songs. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer for an official trailer so we can see (and hear) more from this interesting new project. Moana hits theaters on November 23, 2016.

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