Disney’s ‘Moana’ is totally the next ‘Frozen’

Christmas in October, everybody, Christmas in October! Disney just officially announced the release date for their next animated film. Moana is coming to rock everyone’s brains out in late 2016. And it sounds like it’s going to have Frozen potential.

Reason #1: It’s all about a girl. Set in the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana tells the story of, well, right, a girl named Moana who, according to Variety, “sets sail in search of a fabled island, and teams with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui,” encountering “enormous sea creatures, underworlds and ancient folklore.”

There’s so much to be excited about here. Disney’s up to its awesome old tricks. I will NEVER get sick of animated girls who like to go on adventures and team up with magical talking things. NEVER WILL I GET SICK OF THIS EVER. And Disney is up to some new tricks!

Ancient Oceania is a genius move for a setting. The world is so unexplored! The culture is so fascinating! And you really have a great adventure model built into this particular world— ancient Polynesians packing up their boats and sailing thousands of miles into the misty unknown.  That’s a hero’s journey if EVER I heard of one. Even better, the character of Moana will provide more much-needed diversity to the Disney canon.

Oh, PLEASE let there be songs, oh PLEASE let there be animal sidekicks, oh PLEASE let there be Oceanic hairstyles introduced that I can unsuccessfully try on myself at home (I finally figured out how to do Anna/Elsa coronation party hair, but it took some serious doing, for the most part I just stick to their adventure braids).

I’m not the ONLY one excited, of course, the directors of the film, Ron Clements and John Musker are pretty darn excited, too.

“John and I have partnered on so many films—from The Little Mermaid to Aladdin to The Princess and the Frog,” said Clements. “Creating Moana is one of the great thrills of our career.”

As for their heroine, it sounds like the directors are more than a little bit in love with their animated creation:

“Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself. She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences.”

We can’t wait either, but we’ll have to find the strength that lies within us all to just hold it together for the next two years until Moana hits our shores. The good news is that the movie is coming two years earlier than it was first slated.

Back in January, Disney hinted at Moana’s release in 2018, but just those hints of the film sparked such a rabid Internet fan base that the folks at the big D bumped up the release date by TWO YEARS. So now it’s official. 2016 is going to be a good year for girl heroes.

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