The first international trailer for Disney’s upcoming Moana was released this week. This movie has excited Disney fans for almost three years now–it was announced right on the heels of Frozen‘s box office success. Since then, news about the film has not disappointed: the titular character is a person of color, voiced by newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, who has no love interest in her storyline. It’s pretty much what Disney fans have been asking for since the internet existed.
Excitement grew exponentially when the news dropped that Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda both wrote the soundtrack and performed on it. Both the teaser and the international trailers include some of Miranda’s work–and both are, frankly, wonderful. Top it all off with a demi-god played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and it’s like a Sundae on a school night.
So What Does The Latest “Moana” Trailer Tell Us?
The most obvious element of the new trailer is magic. Baby Moana is on a beach, clutching a conch shell half her size, before the shore recedes and reveals more conch shells which create a path. An anthropomorphic wave teases her, playing with her hair and tilting its “head” in curiosity, as she gathers the shells. An enormous sea turtle swims past in greeting. Someone calls Moana’s name and the wave returns her to “land”. The final shot of the trailer shows a grown Moana holding a conch shell. It’s unclear whether this is a new shell or the one she collected as a baby.
The Differences In “Moana’s” Trailers
The teaser trailer features a comedic exchange between Moana and Maui (The Rock’s character), but the international trailer has no dialogue at all. The wordless exchange between Moana and the world around her gives us a peek into the magic inherent in her island. Of course, Disney trailers often give us a glimpse into the movie’s world while telling a slightly different tale than the film.
So while we know there will be magic, we don’t know if it’s good or bad. We don’t know if Maui controls the magic, or how he and Moana know each other. Will she be a long-lost demi-god, too? A princess of the Polynesian? Will she have control over the magic in her life? And where is her pig??