‘MOANA’ teaser features Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music & demi-god Maui rather than titular heroine


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is Maui in MOANA. Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

You can almost feel the warm Hawaiian atmosphere caress your face when you watch the new teaser trailer for Disney’s MOANA. Featuring the voices of Dwayne Johnson and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, and songs by Tony-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, the film tells the tale of an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people.

During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADDIN), MOANA is going to be THE film of the holiday season. I mean, look at how the animators nail “The Rock”‘s eyebrow lift. My only complaint is that this teaser features charismatic Maui more heavily than its titular heroine, with most of the dialogue allotted to him over her. However, I’m sure the long form trailer, and the film itself, will rectify this.

MOANA opens on November 23.

Auli’i Cravalho is MOANA. Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.

Auli’i Cravalho is MOANA. Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.

About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.