By Coleen Ramos
It’s been 21 years since we’ve last seen a fiercely adventurous Disney princess like Pocahontas. This time, instead of the usual ball gowns, tiaras, and obligatory Prince Charming, we’re introduced to Disney’s first Polynesian princess, Moana. Her adventure to seek a mythical island with a demigod companion is more enjoyable than rescuing damsels in distress.
Set in ancient Oceania, in the clear blue waters and white sandy beaches of the South Pacific, Princess Moana is in search of a fabled island and teams up with mythological demigod, Maui.
The official teaser trailer was released yesterday, June 13, and has already accumulated a million and a half views. It’s once again established Disney’s superiority in delivering true-to-life animation and profound storytelling. With the company being hailed by the London-based Brand Finance, a leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy firm, as the world’s most powerful brand, Moana is expected to rake in a box-office success at its opening week and theatrical run.
Let’s review the trailer and see why it’s a lot more relatable with early Disney Renaissance fans and Filipinos alike:
- We’ve seen that intro before
As you can see from the clip above, the beginning of the trailer was somewhat similar to the intro of the 1997 Disney flick, Hercules. Maui introduces himself as the greatest demigod in all the Pacific Islands with a magical fish hook as his weapon of choice that can slow down the sun and pull islands out of the see. And he’s a hero too and battles large, ferocious monsters much like our beloved Hercules. Watch the Muses chronicle the story of Hercules through a memorable song number and see the similarities:
- The setting looks like it was shot in the Philippines
Well, we do have some right to brag about how amazing our beaches are since three of them, Puka Beach in Boracay, El Nido in Palawan and Palaui Island in Cagayan, have made it CNN’s list of best beaches in the world. The best thing I saw in the trailer was probably the environment. Palm trees swaying in the wind, crystal clear waters, green sea turtles and the open ocean reaching the horizon, our country came to mind and made me appreciate the trailer more. You’ve got to love our beaches.
- The musical numbers will be sensational
I can see a “Let It Go” phenomenon in the works and with a heroine as fierce and adventurous as Moana, I’m sensing an empowering musical solo. With the collaboration of Lin-Manuel Miranda (a Tony Award-winning composer for the musical Hamilton), Mark Mancina (arranged many songs for The Lion King, Tarzan and Brother Bear) and the Oceania music group Te Vaka, we might as well expect spectacular performances reveling in the culture of the South Pacific.
It is going well.
I played a new tune for my wife and she got teary and she’s the toughest. So you guys are dead. https://t.co/5hfJXK8jrC
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) January 31, 2016
Cardio and singing rehearsals.. Big day today of performing my song with Broadway king Lin Manuel Miranda today in the studio for our Disney’s animated musical #MOANA. Lin’s writing our film’s music and if you know his talents (star and creator of HAMILTON) you know how epically dope of an artist he is. Today I will sing, I will rap and do it all in keys that don’t exist – yet somehow make it all sound wonderful to the world’s ear. ? The honey coated gravel voice has entered the damn building..? #LetsRoll #Disney #MOANA #MauiLives #BravadoInHisVoice #AndCottonInYourEar
A photo posted by therock (@therock) on
- Moana, Maui and their animal companions
Of course a Disney princess can’t be a Disney princess without her power of interacting with animals. Expect a surge of pig plushies once the film is out.
- The animation is stunning
I mean, look at that detail.
The ocean is calling, and we’re excited to see more from our Polynesian princess. Moana hits theaters on November 23.