(I need to learn Samoan if I want to improve my puns.)
Disney will soon have its second Pacific Islander movie and first Polynesian princess movie. Little information has been posted about the projected 2018 film, and leaked concept art was quickly pulled, but fans are fired up about another long-overdue PoC. By the time this is released, it will have been almost a decade since the last film centered on a person of color. Meanwhile, we’ve seen white people play Persians, white people play American Indians, and white animation for Sami (who may or may not actually be white, make of that what you will.)
This could be The Company taking a step away from their fairy tale and sequel safety nets now that the economy is picking up. It would be wonderful if Moana marks the beginning of a conscious endeavor to bring world cultures to the screen, like we saw in the late 90s. Reportedly, the title character will set off on a boat ride from island to island, trying to save her family, and interacting with traditional gods and myths. Rumors that the story takes place about 2000 years ago means that this could be a fictionalization of the settlement of New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, and the other island groups.
In other words, Moana could be Lilo’s great great great