This November, Walt Disney Animation Studio will be releasing their second theatrical feature of the year and their 56th overall, Moana. Longtime Disney collaborators John Musker and Ron Clements return to direct this film about a teenage Polynesian princess who ventures out on a journey to save her people and to find her identity. The film brings in all sorts of talent that we’ve pretty much come to expect from the studio, from the voice talents of Auli”˜i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Jemaine Clement, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Alan Tudyk, and Nicole Scherzinger, right down to the music from Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
In August, Disney invited us (along with a group of fellow journalists) to watch a couple of scenes and learn about the process of developing a script, creating the film’s setting, polishing the effects, and creating the two lead characters: Moana and Maui. Just like Zootopia, it has become apparent that the studio emphasizes the importance of research for their stories and pushing the envelope in animation. Check out what we learned from the scenes and the presentation below.