While Walt Disney Animation Studios used to traffic pretty heavily in musicals, around the time they dropped 2D animation, the studio also moved to a more Pixar-like, non-musical format. Song-and-dance Disney movies made a comeback in a big way with 2013’s Frozen, and while Disney’s subsequent animated films were also successful, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia returned to a straight narrative, song-less format. That changes with the release of Moana next month, and now Disney is unveiling one of the film’s original songs that has none other than Dwayne Johnson showing off his pipes.
In this Moana clip, Johnson sings an original song written by multiple Tony Award-winning Hamilton creator/star Lin-Manuel Miranda called “You’re Welcome.” Miranda composed original songs for the Pacific Island-set musical alongside Opetaia Foa’I and Mark Mancina, and fans of both Disney and Hamilton alike are no doubt eager to see what he put together for the feature film.
The movie originated with a script by What We Do in the Shadows and Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker Taika Waititi (with subsequent writers furthering the story/screenplay) and takes place on a mystic island in Polynesia, where a young princess named Moana sets sail in search of a fabled island with demigod Maui in tow. Johnson voices Maui, and for the creation of the moving tattoos on his chest, Disney animators infused the CG-animated film with old school 2D animation.
While kids no doubt remember how Disney dominated the musical format in the 90s, the studio’s only iconic musical output of the 21st century thus far is Frozen. Here’s hoping Moana’s another winner in the same vein.
Check out the Moana clip below. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid), the film also features the voices of Auli’I Cravalho, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Scherzinger, Rachel House, Jemaine Clement, Alan Tudyk, and Hamilton star Phillipa Soo. Moana opens in theaters on November 23rd.