MOVIES

Why Moana Looks So Different in Moana 2

“Moana” was Auli’i Cravalho’s first movie role, and it clearly means a lot to her. In addition to reprising the character for the sequel, which comes out November 27, she voices Moana for other projects, including the “Disney Dreamlight Valley” video game and the “Once Upon a Studio” short film, which also starred Heihei voice actor Alan Tudyk as the Mad Hatter. It’s great to see Cravalho back for “Moana 2,” but some fans may be disappointed she won’t return for the live-action “Moana” that’s also coming down the pipeline. 

Cravalho confirmed that while she’s an executive producer for the live-action “Moana” remake, someone else will play the 16-year-old Moana. That makes sense, as Cravalho was 16 herself when “Moana” first arrived in theaters back in 2016, but she’s in her 20s now. A younger actor would probably be better suited to play the part opposite Dwayne Johnson’s Maui. However, Cravalho sees it as an opportunity to provide greater representation for Pacific Islanders on the big screen. She told The Wrap in an interview, “If it has to start with me — I’m 23, but if it starts with me, so be it. I want that door to swing wide open, and I cannot wait to meet the next Moana.”

Luckily, Cravalho’s keeping one foot within the franchise, and fans can hear her once more as Moana on her next adventure. And fans can see someone new step into the role when the live-action “Moana” comes out on July 10, 2026.

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