Everything to Know About the ‘Moana’ Television Series

Published on January 4, 2021

In two years, Disney+ subscribers will stream a Moana television series. Disney produced an epic animated delight with their movie. There were loveable heroes, gnarly large-scale action and monsters, and lively original songs, including the inspiring “How Far I’ll Go.” Moana is returning for what’s called a “long-form musical-comedy” on Disney+.

Moana was the story of a teenager seeking adventure. Along her journey, she crossed paths with the demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson). Together, the two crossed paths with sea and lava monsters. It’s both a personal and action driven-quest, in which Moana (voiced by Auliʻi Cravalho) follows in her ancestor’s footsteps. 

Disney announced the new Moana television series during an insane conference call. The mega-company announced over 40 new shows and movies. Disney announced new Star Wars shows and movies, new Marvel properties, and new live-action and animated shows based on their past properties. As a result, Disney’s stock went way up following all the announcements.

How much of Moana’s original cast is returning is uncertain. It’s hard to imagine Cravalho not returning to her already-iconic role. Johnson is a question mark. He’s a movie star not apprehensive about streaming, though, considering he just shot a large-scale action movie for Netflix called Red Notice. Knowing Disney, the company would pay him handsomely to voice Maui again. Johnson was a ton of fun as the character, delivering some of his best work in what’s easily one of his best films. 

The Moana television show is the 17th Disney show to date to be based on one of their movies. Jennifer Lee is executive producing the series. She’s the director of the Frozen movies, as well as the writer of Wreck-It-Ralph. Considering the show is over two years away, it’s early days for the Moana show.

We do know it’s technically a sequel, so the series will show Moana with likely more adventures under her belt. She’s a wonderful character for kids to look up to, somebody who forges their own path and embraces a life of adventure. There are strong messages in Moana we haven’t heard before in hundreds of other Disney animated movies. Moana is a true gem in Disney’s library.

It’s safe to assume we’ll see more monsters and gods in the television series. Music and monsters made for compelling a combo in the 2016 film. We would certainly not mind if Jamaine Clement returned as Tamatoa, whose song “Shiny” had some serious David Bowie vibes. The cool news is, it’s a big and unexplored world in Moana.

The Disney film was directed by Disney royalty, Ron Clements and John Musker, known for Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Hercules. Like Hercules, Clements and Musker unleashed some great monster mayhem with Moana on a whole new scale. As far as Disney animated movies go, the level of scope and scale in the 2016 film was vast and beautiful. It was quite a sight on a big screen. Moana told a story that doesn’t need sequels, but it also told a story that leaves the door open for more stories. It’s such a big world you’d want to see more of through Moana’s eyes. A part of the movie’s fun was experiencing new sights along with her. Moana is a remarkable adventure that we, for one, can’t wait to see continue in 2023.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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