Moana UK releaseWhile Disney has had a lot of superheroes and galaxies far far away to deal with in recent years, it’s still managing to find time for the cartoon movies that it started out with, and the latest big DVD release is a sunshine-filled Polynesian Odyssey called Moana. Full of mysticism, and with a female lead character in an action role, it’s got shades of Brave and Frozen, which broke the old Disney love story mold to present a new type of hero.

It’s a little odd that such a summer sun film arrived in cinemas in December. Although, admittedly, if you live on the southern hemisphere it’s the middle of summer in December, so it makes sense from that perspective, but with such a big audience in the UK and North America, most people were bundled up in scarfs, hats and mittens when they saw it. Check out the trailer below to see what to expect.

Moana release date

Cinema

Moana had a UK release date of Friday the 2nd December 2016, following the earlier US release on the 23rd November 2016, with screening in 2D and 3D. It was out in cinemas in the UK on the same weekend as boxing biopic Bleed For This, starring Miles Teller, and biographical drama Sully, starring Tom Hanks, so it definitely had the lighthearted family fun thing all to itself in the first week of December.

DVD, Blu-ray and digital download

The film has been confirmed for a DVD release date in the UK of the 3rd April 2017. It’ll also be available on Blu-ray and digital download at the same time.

Story

Moana is a Polynesian teen adventurer, who sets out to sea in a bid to save her people and prove that she’s a master seafarer like her ancestors. Along the way she tracks down and teams up with barrel chested, shape shifting demigod Maui, who’s unique skills and outlook come in handy as she takes on the biggest challenge of her life.

With the monster realm of Lalotai to face off against and the fearsome coconut-wearing Kakamora pirates on their tails, it’s not going to be a breeze, even with a half god warrior on her side. Luckily, she also has a magical connection with the sea, which acts a lot like her pet, but with a whole lot more drool, so maybe there’s at least some hope for them.

Cast

Newcomer, Auli’i Cravalho stars as Moana, joining Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (San Andreas), who plays Maui. The cast also includes Jemaine Clement (The BFG) as giant gold-obsessed crab Tomatoa, along with Temuera Morrison (he played Jango Fett in Star Wars) as Moana’s dad Chief Tui, Nicole Scherzinger as her mum Sina and Rachel House (Whale Rider) as her Gramma Tala. Disney favourite Alan Tudyk (Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootropolis) rounds off the cast as stowaway chicken, Heihei.

Age rating

Moana has been given an age rating of PG in the UK by the BBFC, with just a little mild threat and Dwayne Johnson’s acting to worry about.

DVD and Blu-ray special features

Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D:

  • Theatrical short – Inner Workings
  • Maui mini-movie – Gone Fishing
  • Voice of the Islands – A look at how Pacific Island people and cultures inspired the filmmakers to create the story of Moana
  • Meet the stars of the film Q&A featurette
  • Musical team Q&A
  • Island fashion
  • Making the music of Moana
  • Fishing for Easter Eggs – A run through of the Easter Eggs hidden by the animators in the film
  • A series of four mini-documentaries looking at the technical efforts that went in to making the film
  • Water special feature
  • Lava special feature
  • Hair special feature
  • Deleted song – Warrior Face
  • Deleted scenes
  • Music video – How Far I’ll Go by Alessia Cara
  • Audio commentary with directors Ron Clements and John Musker

DVD:

  • Theatrical short – Inner Workings
  • Music video – How Far I’ll Go
  • Audio commentary

Production

The directorial duo of Ron Clements and John Musker joined forces once again to oversea the film having worked together previously on The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. It’s been produced by Osnat Shurer (One Man Band), and features music from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i.

First impressions

Maybe there’s something to be said for the prospect of a summer holiday in the middle of deepest, darkest winter and while a trip to a pacific island may not be on the cards in reality, Moana could well be the big screen equivalent. The trailer looks like it’s set to be a fun adventure out at sea, which has always been a big hit for Disney with the likes of Finding Dory and The Little Mermaid, so it should be a big DVD release. You can follow the Twitter page for the latest on the film.

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