Disney Animation Studios’ MOANA Set for Release on November 23, 2016

     November 10, 2014


Disney Animation Studios is on a roll with Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and now Big Hero 6, but they’ll be sitting out 2015.  The good news is that they have two films on tap for 2016: Zootopia and Moana.  As we previously reported, Zootopia will be released on March 4, 2016, and now Disney has announced that Moana is set for November 23, 2016.

Hit the jump to learn more about both films.  Zootopia will currently share its weekend with Tim Burton‘s Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars while Moana has the Thanksgiving weekend all to itself, although it will still have to deal with the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will be in its second week of release.

zootopia-concept-artIt’s been over a year since we heard anything about Zootopia, which will be directed by Tangled co-direct Byron Howard.  Here’s the brief official synopsis:

In the animal city of Zootopia, a fast-talking fox who’s trying to make it big goes on the run when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Zootopia’s top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends.

That sounds fantastic, and some more details were revealed at D23, but due to the fluid nature of animated movies, these are highly subject to change:

In Zootopia, humans never existed and therefore, animals have made their own version of the civilized world.  Their world accommodates animals of all shapes and sizes; for example, hotels have multiple sizes of beds in each room, newsstands have a variety of periodicals and even the city sectors themselves are scaled to a size appropriate for their respective denizens.

The city of Zootopia is itself divided into different areas. To the cold side of an air-conditioning wall that separates the city is Tundratown, complete with Zambonis, Polar Bear karaoke bars and icy massage parlors.  On the hot side of things is Sahara Square, a tropical area in the spirit of Dubai that just so happens to be full of dune buggies.  There’s also Little Rodentia, the Rainforest District and Burrow Burrough, home to millions of bunnies in the “cutest part of town.”

The plot of Zootopia centers on the odd couple of Nick Wilde, an historically-predatory species (in this case, a fox), and Lt. Judy Hops, a bunny; they form an unlikely duo of natural enemies who are forced to peacefully coexist due to circumstances beyond their control.  Other characters include the incredibly stupid Gnupid (a wildebeest); Gazelle, an outspoken mega-popstar with a social agenda and a huge array of outfits; and one rude porcupine who will definitely be thrown against the ceiling.

moana-concept-artAs for Moana, details are scarcer.  The movie will reteam The Little Mermaid directors Ron Clements and John Musker, which is reason enough to be excited.  Disney also released this brief synopsis a few weeks ago:

In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.

It’s good to see that Disney isn’t leaving their female protagonists behind, and although it will probably be some time before we learn any more details about these movies, I hope Disney Animation Studios’ hot streak continues in 2016 and beyond.

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