Disney Plus has found a director for its upcoming Moana television series that is set to be released sometime in 2024.
Disney Animation announced that David G. Derrick Jr., who previously worked with Disney on the Moana animated film in 2016, will be helming the upcoming series spin-off. The new series will bring back the Samoan island girl who has now become chieftain and wayfinder of her tribe.
The original film, which takes inspiration from Polynesian myths, tells the story of Moana, the strong-willed daughter of a chief of a Polynesian village, who is chosen by the ocean itself to reunite a mystical relic with the goddess Te Fiti. When a blight strikes her island, Moana sets sail in search of Maui, a legendary demigod, in the hope of returning the relic to Te Fiti and saving her people.
Derrick’s appointment as director by Disney Animation was followed up by the filmmaker himself, who said: “Working on Moana was a gift, personally and professionally. The film Moana caught and shared the spirit of Polynesia with the world. I am honored to continue her story and to celebrate the rich and beautiful cultures of the Pacific Islands."
Just announced: David G. Derrick Jr. will direct Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana” series for @DisneyPlus. Derrick first joined Disney Animation to work on 2016's Moana, which deepened his connection with his family’s Samoan roots. pic.twitter.com/0MslhBs9OD— Disney Animation (@DisneyAnimation) January 21, 2022
There’s no word yet on casting for the sequel series, including whether Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be reprising their voice roles as Moana and Maui respectively.
2016’s Moana was one of a string of huge Disney hits known for its memorable characters, catchy songs, and good storytelling that has become synonymous with the Disney brand. The film, which featured songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, received a wave of positive reviews along with several accolades, including Oscar nominations for Best Original Song and Best Picture.
Animation continues to play a big part of Disney's streaming service plans, as they expand their blockbuster franchises under Marvel and Star Wars. Aside from Moana, other previously announced series spin-offs in development for Disney Plus include Baymax! featuring the health care robot from Big Hero 6, Tiana from The Princess and The Frog, and Zootopia+.
Zootopia+, based on 2016’s Zootopia will feature some of the movie’s most popular characters, Fru Fru, Tiger Dancers and Flash the sloth in reality shows like The Real Mousewives of Little Rodentia and So You Think You Can Prance.
Just Announced: @DisneyAnimation’s first-ever original animated series are coming to @DisneyPlus: Baymax!, Zootopia+, and Tiana are coming in 2022, and Moana, the series, in 2023. pic.twitter.com/s7aOht4uU6— Disney (@Disney) December 11, 2020
The Moana series is currently set to be released on Disney Plus sometime in 2024 after being pushed back from its originally announced 2023 arrival.