With Zootopia and Moana both pegged for a release next year, 2016 marks an important chapter in the history of Disney Animation, as the company sets about launching two brand new IPs.
The first of which is due to release in late March, opening up a lush world of anthropomorphic animals for a feature film that looks to be bursting with personality. And while it’s still too early to get a glimpse of Ron Clements and John Musker’s animated feature, Disney Animation President Andrew Millstein recently touched base on the emotional side of Moana, which tells the tale of the title heroine plotting course for a mysterious island in the Pacific Ocean.
Speaking to Collider, Millstein touched upon the history behind the coming-of-age story, and was also full of praise for the writing, musical and directing talent behind the lens, not to mention the film’s core cast of Dwayne Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho.
I’m excited about that. Every film is different, and I’m excited about that for a lot of different reasons. When you go back to all of the different elements for that particular story, the fact that it’s set in a pre-historical context and it’s inspired by these great stories in Oceania, you have to figure out how to make that incredibly relevant. We’re creating songs for the story, and we have tremendous talent. It’s stunningly beautiful. It’s a place that you want to be. You want to immerse yourself in that environment, in that water, on those islands. There’s just going to be a lot of magic to the film, literally and figuratively. You can feel it. There’s great talent connected to it, with the voice talent, the musical talent, the writing talent, and the directing talent. It’s an exciting project. It’s emotional.
Further in the interview, the executive was quizzed about the status of the Tron franchise at Disney. Now that Bruce Boxleitner has all but abandoned the sci-fi series, fans redirected interest toward a possible animated set in the same universe. However, Millstein was quick to cool talks of a potential offshoot.
We don’t think about it, really. If our filmmakers have a deep connection to it and want to take it in that direction, we could certainly double back around to the live-action group and ask them what they have in mind for it and if it’s something they’d be interested in, but we’d have to see. We don’t really plan our films around those kinds of ideas.
Moana will set sail for theaters on November 23, 2016.