You're Welcome To Watch Disney's Moana 2 Trailer

See the line where the sky meets the sea? In 2016, audiences heeded the call of "Moana," capping off a fantastic year for Disney Animation that also saw eventual Best Animated Feature Film Oscar winner "Zootopia" top over a billion dollars at the box office. Closing in on a decade later, however, the House That Mickey Built has fallen on harder times after suffering one of its costliest box office misfires ever with "Strange World" and releasing what was intended to be the crown jewel in its 100th-anniversary celebration, "Wish," to middling reviews and even worse financial returns. It's under these circumstances that Bob Iger, fresh off having un-retired from his position as Disney's CEO, has announced further adventures with both the furry members of the Zootopia Police Department (ZPD) and the studio's beloved Pacific Islander princess.

Shocking as it was when Disney proclaimed "Moana 2" would be arriving near the end of 2024, having only just revealed the sequel's existence during its first investors' call of the year, this development isn't as sudden as it may seem. In truth, some version of the "Moana" sequel has been in the works since at least 2020, back when it was slated to stream as a limited series on Disney+ in the hopes of tapping into the original film's rampant popularity on the service. With Auliʻi Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson having since signed on the dotted line to reprise their roles as Moana and her shape-shifting demigod compadre Maui, the project is now properly up and off to the races, with the full might of Disney's marketing machine behind it.

For more on that, check out the newly-released "Moana 2" trailer above!

Moana and Maui set sail on another adventure in Moana 2

This isn't the first occasion on which a Disney-backed animated sequel originally intended for the home market was upgraded to a theatrical release, as that was also the situation with Pixar's "Toy Story 2" 25 years ago. (Time does, indeed, come for us all.) In that case, the outcome was a bona fide masterpiece that affirmed Pixar's place as the then-new champion of mainstream American animation. That's a whole lot to put on any movie's shoulders, but it's also a reminder to, for the time being, refrain from writing off "Moana 2" as a return to that era in the '90s when Disney began churning out highly profitable, cheap-and-quick animated sequels and spinoffs straight to VHS. To that same point, /FIlm's Ryan Scott was impressed by the "Moana 2" footage he saw at CinemaCon earlier this year, noting it was much more polished than you'd expect for what began as a direct-to-streaming title.

"Moana" story artist David Derrick Jr. is calling the shots on the sequel, with Grammy-winners Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear ("The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical") collaborating on the score alongside "Moana" composer Mark Mancina and song co-writer Opetaia Foaʻi. That team will be hard-pressed to match the musical highs of Mancina, Foa'i, and "Moana" songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda in the original feature. Still, to return to that "Toy Story 2" comparison, nobody saw that sequel usurping "You've Got a Friend in Me" by gifting us "When She Loved Me." Think positive, people!

"Moana 2" sets sail into theaters on November 27, 2024. Here's 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.