Prepare for another Disney hit as the visual spectacle, strong characters and vibrant score of Moana opens in Malaysia on Dec 1.
Hawaiian-born unknown Auli'i Cravalho becomes the title character in Disney animated feature Moana, a story about a girl from the Polynesian islands – located between Oceania and South-East Asia to the west and the Americas to the east – who is chosen to sail across the ocean to find a demigod and save her tribe from certain doom.
It helps that the demigod, Maui, is a shapeshifter and Moana's backed up by the ocean itself, but they still have a heck of a lot to contend with in order to come through the Realm of Monsters victorious.
Dwayne Johnson, who himself has Samoan heritage, is the ex-WWE wrestler known as The Rock who stars in the Fast And Furious film franchise and a handful of action and comedy flicks.
He plays Maui, contributing to the official soundtrack (as he did for Be Cool and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island), and is joined on the production by Alan Tudyk (Frozen, Big Hero 6), New Zealanders Temuera Morrison (Star Wars Episode II), Rachel House (Hunt For The Wilderpeople), and Jermaine Clement (Rio and Rio 2).
This is the seventh animated feature film co-directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, who also steered The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Hercules as well as Treasure Planet and The Princess And The Frog for Disney.
They directed from a script by Jared Bush of Zootopia and Big Hero 6 fame, adapting an original story created by Musker and Clements as well as the directors of Big Hero 6 and others.
Lin-Manuel Miranda of the musical Hamilton co-wrote the songs with Mark Mancina of Brother Bear and Tarzan 2 and New Zealand composer Opetaia Foa'i.
In the week leading up to release, Moana carries a Metascore of 80 following a batch of early November reviews, an approval rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes from a 7.8/10 average and 9.1/10 from early IMDb user reviews. – AFP Relaxnews