Disney presented their animation line-up this past Friday at D23 Expo. They delivered in grand fashion with a three-hour panel that showcased a slew of upcoming Disney and Pixar animated movies. Among these upcoming projects were The Good Dinosaur, arriving November 25, 2015 and Inside Out: Riley's First Date, a new Pixar short film that will be included with the Inside Out Blu-ray and DVD, debuting November 2. But perhaps most exciting of all is Moana, set for release on November 23, 2016. Fans at the convention were shown footage from all three movies, but the biggest surprise came when Dwayne Johnson took the stage. We now have video from his epic presentation.
Dwayne Johnson (San Andreas, Furious 7, HBO's Ballers), who lends his voice to the mighty demi-god Maui in Walt Disney Animation Studios' Moana, hit the stage at D23 Expo 2015 Friday afternoon. Renowned directors John Musker and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin), and producer Osnat Shurer (Oscar-nominated Pixar shorts One Man Band, Boundin) shared dazzling early test footage and revealed plans for the film's inspired music and the extraordinary team behind it. Tony-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway's hottest new hit "Hamilton," Tony-winning "In the Heights"), Grammy-winning composer Mark Mancina (Speed, Tarzan, The Lion King) and Opetaia Foa'i (founder and lead singer of the world music award-winning band Te Vaka) blend their diverse and dynamic talents to help tell the tale of a spirited teenager who sets out to prove herself a master wayfinder. Moana sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. About the movie, Clements stated the following.
"Our research took us deep into the South Pacific. The wonderful people we met there, their rich history and traditions, and their fantastic music changed us forever."
"We can't wait to bring those experiences to Moana. We are incredibly lucky to be able to work with three amazing artists who are the absolute best at what they do. The sounds they create will be something we've never heard before-but it'll feel like it's been part of this world forever."
Foa'i and his band Te Vaka capped the presentation with a show-stopping performance illustrating the magic of the movie's music. Back in April, Dwayne Johnson shared a photo on his Instagram, where he was seen signing his contract to voice Moana. He also revealed at the time that he will be singing in the movie. None of the songs he will be performing have been announced yet, but the actor did have this to say.
"At Disney Studios signing contracts to play the male lead in their next big classic animated musical, Moana. Just had an amazing 2 hour presentation and it's easy to see why they're the greatest story tellers in the world. Im excited. And in the background my homies Fred & Wasabi from Big Hero are jumpin' for joy joy cause they heard I'm gonna sing in the movie."
Moana introduces a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to fulfill her ancestors' unfinished quest. She meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of John Musker and Ron Clements (The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin), Moana sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. Take a look as Dwayne Johnson presents Moana at D23.