Disney Introduces Its First Polynesian Princess, ‘Moana’
Disney is looking to break away from its perpetual mold of white-girl princesses, and has introduced its first Polynesian princess (who also happens to be only its fifth princess of color) to the world: The titular character of their upcoming movie, Moana.
According to US Weekly, the company shared a few still images from Moana at its annual industry expo in Anaheim, California, as well as details about the film’s characters.
The main character, Moana, sets sail to find a legendary island rumored to exist somewhere in the region of Oceania. In true Disney fashion she’ll be accompanied by some trusty sidekicks — her pet pig, Pug, and a rooster named Hei Hei.
According to Yahoo!, Moana will feature music from Tony-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose excellent musical In The Heights was a breakthrough success revolving around an eclectic group of Latino characters set in New York City's largely Dominican neighborhood, Washington Heights.
(Speaking of which: Can we please get a legitimate Latina princess out of Disney one of these days? The closest they ever came to fulfilling this wish was with the Disney Junior series Sofia the First, whose mother hails from a fictitious land that boasts “Latin influences.” Really?)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has already been cast as a demigod known as Maui, a character who was born human but raised by gods. Speaking to the crowd, Johnson said, “This is my heritage. I am proudly half-Samoan and half-black."
There's still no word yet on who will provide the voice behind the movie's titular character, but Fifth Harmony fans are hopeful that member Dinah Jane (who is of Polynesian descent) will voice the character. They've compiled a fair amount of evidence indicating she's at least being considered, though no official announcements have yet been made.
Moana is slated to hit theaters on November 23, 2016.
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