‘Moana 2’: Why Disney’s Beloved Character Looks So Different in The Sequel

The recently released teaser trailer for ‘Moana 2’ reveals a noticeably different look for the titular character, Moana, compared to her appearance in the first movie. This change is intentional and has a good reason behind it. ‘Moana 2,’ the highly anticipated sequel to Disney’s 2016 animated hit, is set to be released on 27th November 2024. 

The sequel follows Moana as she heeds the call of her ancestors and embarks on another ocean adventure around her beloved island. Following ‘Moana 2’, Disney is also developing a live-action remake of Moana.

Also Read: ‘Moana 2’ Breaks Record for Most Viewed Trailer in Disney and Pixar History

Moana 2
Image Courtesy: Parents

The ‘Moana 2’ trailer provides several clues about the next chapter in the Moana franchise. Moana has returned to her home island and taken on her responsibilities as Motonui’s chief, seeking ways to improve life for her people. After hearing a call from her ancestors, Moana sets out again to explore the surrounding Oceania. Along with the plot, the trailer highlights Moana’s updated appearance. 

Moana now wears a darker red outfit instead of her iconic orange one, and her hair appears darker and fuller. The significant change in her appearance is due to her being three years older than she was in the original movie. In the 2016 film, ‘Moana’ is 16 years old; in ‘Moana 2’, she is around 19 or 20, giving her a more mature look.

Moana 2
Image Courtesy: People

It’s natural for Moana to age between the two movies, reflecting the passage of time in her world, just as it has for the audience. Over these years, Moana has likely grown and matured, both physically and mentally. While the exact reason for the three-year gap is not specified, the new movie may shed light on it. This progression is logical and adds excitement to the sequel.

Ageing Moana is beneficial because it helps differentiate the character between the original film and its sequel, especially in animated movies where characters are harder to age than real human actors. This is similar to the character design evolution seen with Anna and Elsa in ‘Frozen’ and ‘Frozen 2’. Ultimately, Moana’s older look brings a fresh and exciting dimension to ‘Moana 2’.

– Farheen Ali