A little bit of information on Moana was revealed this week during the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. After lamenting for a little bit over how much I wanted to go but couldn’t, I read up on it. According to THIS POST (and there’s more information HERE) the following was revealed:
-Maui is at least partially responsible for the curse that keep’s Moana’s nation landlocked
-There’s a MacGuffin in the form of the Heart of Te Fiti which Maui tries to steal and then looses
-An old lady (I’m betting Moana’s grandmother) tells all this in a prologue
-Moana’s grandmother takes Moana to a special cave where the nation’s past (when they were still successful navigators) is revealed
-Moana and Maui will have to rescue Hei Hei the rooster from coconut clad little pirates (and apparently it’s going to be an actually cool scene and not totally pointless)
-Moana’s relationship with the water when she was a child will be shown before cutting to her as an adult
I remember from concept art released in last year’s D23 Expo there was a very vengeful looking lava spirit/goddess/witch (the guardian of some place I can’t remember) who may or may not be the antagonist. I know there is supposed to be a wicked island spirit but I don’t know if that’s her or not. I kind of hope it is because a giant, angry, lava woman would be AWESOME.
I also remember reading awhile back that there’s supposed to be an epic opening song about the birth of Moana which is supposed to echo back to “The Circle of Life”. I think what might happen is that scene will happen after the prologue explaining the curse. I’m not sure if it got scraped altogether, but I hope it didn’t.
So from what I understand about the plot, here’s how I think the movie is roughly going to play out:
-Moana’s grandmother is going to tell the story of the disappearance of this ‘heart’ and how Maui is involved and why they’re stuck on this island
-Moana will be born
-We’ll have Moana’s grandmother tell Moana more about their past
-I think the scene of baby Moana playing with the water will be either near the beginning or as a flashback in the second act, I’m not sure
-Moana gets into a fight with her father (who has forbidden her and the other people from going past the island reef)
-the grandmother dies (this isn’t really a spoiler it was revealed at the D23), causing Moana to set off for the fabled island/heart
-Moana and her pig get swept away but rescued by Maui, who introduces himself to her (as seen in the teaser) before singing a song
-They go off on an adventure
-At some point Hei Hei is revealed and they have to save him from the pirates
-Moana and Maui bond
-Apparently Moana and Maui are going to end up in the underworld at some point, which might mean that Moana will get to be reunited with her grandmother
-Moana and Maui confront the villain, who reveals why Maui is no longer as mighty as he was
-There’s a bit of a rift between the two, but it’s settled sooner than later
-An epic climax ensues and Moana’s people can go exploring again
I could be wrong, but so far I think that’s generally how the movie’s going to play out.
On a side note, I can’t help but notice that while there are plenty of mentions of Moana’s father and grandmother, Moana’s actual mother is conspicuously absent. I really hope that Moana’s mother isn’t dead or downplayed (an all too common trope in Disney Princess movies). This might be far-fetched, but I think Moana’s mother might have some connection to the ocean. Since the ocean is sentient and is a friend to Moana, I wouldn’t be surprised if Moana’s mother had something to do with it. (I’m kind of hoping Moana’s mother is the goddess of the ocean, but that might be too much to except.)
I’m also curious who Phillipa Soo is playing. So far she’s only credited as ‘a villager in Moana’s village’ but there’s nothing beyond that, but I imagine it would have to be important. I just hope Disney starts revealing more info and getting the hype ready; the movie only comes out in six months!
Beyond that, I’m definitely excited. Even if the plot isn’t great, the movie’s music and visuals should be more than worth the watch. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more info!