Moana is the next feature-length film by Walt Disney Animation Studios, following the release of the blockbuster hit Zootopia from earlier this year. There are plenty of reasons to get excited about the new musical comedy co-directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) – one of which being that the movie’s songs were co-written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. For those unfamiliar, Miranda is the creator of the Tony-winning Broadway musical Hamilton and will costar in Disney’s upcoming sequel, Mary Poppins Returns.
Featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as the legendary Polynesian demigod Maui and Montunui Island native Moana, the film Moana already appears to be a fun-filled fantasy adventure fit to please audiences of all ages. The film, as mentioned, will include (hopefully, catchy) tunes for its cast to perform too – and you can get a taste of Johnson exercising his singing voice to surprisingly mellifluous effect, in a newly-released Moana clip.
The Moana footage featured above offers said first sample of Maui singing – and that is, in fact, Johnson performing the tune behind the animated character. The lyrics of the new song, titled “You’re Welcome”, cover all of the many ways in which the Polynesian demigod Maui has seen fit to keep the world spinning over the years for other Montunui Island natives, including young Moana.
Knowing that the music and lyrics featured in this new clip from Moana were at least partially created by the likes of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda adds an extra layer of excitement to the proceedings. Furthermore, hearing the likes of a action movie heavyweight like Johnson pull the heavy lifting as a star musical lead is a novel bit of business for casual viewers and dedicated fans of the A-list actor (and nowadays, blockbuster superstar) alike.
Only time will tell how favorably Moana will be received by general audiences when it finally makes its way to theaters later this November. Either way, things appear to be shaping up for the new Walt Disney Animation Studios film in a manner befitting the production company’s recent string of box office successes, from over the course of the past couple of years. Hopefully, the end result is that Moana joins such films as Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia as part of a new generation of Disney animated classics.