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Disney’s Moana Sequel Series Gets Its Director

The sequel series to the 2016 hit Moana will bring back someone with deep connections to the franchise to helm the show.

Disney Announces Animated Adventure Moana for 2016

Disney’s upcoming Moana TV series has added David G. Derrick Jr. as director, allowing him to continue the journey that first brought him on board with Disney when he worked on Moana back in 2016. The new series will bring back the Samoan island girl who has now become chieftain and wayfinder of her tribe, and is currently set to be released on Disney+ sometime in 2024 after being pushed back from an originally announced 2023 arrival. There is no word yet on casting for the sequel as to whether the likes of Dwayne Johnson could be reprising his role as Maui, but with his very busy schedule the series delay could help out in allowing him to complete voiceover work for the part if he does feature.


2016’s Moana was one of a string of huge Disney hits that played to the strength of having memorable characters, catchy songs, and the type of flawless animation and storytelling that has become synonymous with the Disney brand. Telling the story of young Moana, a girl who undertakes a mission to break a curse on her Polynesian Island with the help of demigod Maui, the film received the expected wave of positive reviews along with a haul of awards nods, which included Oscar nominations for Best Original Song and Best Picture.

The announcement of Derrick’s appointment as director by Disney Animation was followed up by the filmmaker himself, who commented, “Working on Moana was a gift, personally and professionally. The film Moana caught and shared the spirit of Polynesia with the world. I am honored to continue her story and to celebrate the rich and beautiful cultures of the Pacific Islands.”

Related: Aladdin and Moana Co-Director John Musker Retires from Disney

The Moana TV Series Will Be The First Project To Come Out Of Disney Animation Studios Vancouver

Disney's Moana Trailer #2 Journeys Into the Realm of Monsters
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Walt Disney Animation Studios have been working from Burbank, California for decades, but the newly announced Vancouver studio will be producing the Moana TV series as their first project. As Disney continues to grow, with multiple franchises dominating lists of the biggest selling movies and TV shows of all time, their Canadian expansion is one that has come at just the right time, with the company looking to continue the growth of Disney+ and their cinematic output in the coming years, with animation continuing to be a big part of that as expansions of franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars, as well as previously announced spin-offs of Big Hero 6, The Princess and The Frog and Zootopia.

While there is little yet known about the Moana series, there have already been many calls from fans to get Johnson and Auli’I Carvalho back to voice Maui and Moana respectively. Obviously Disney have managed to persuade any number of big stars to the small screen when it comes to MCU and Star Wars series such as Loki, The Mandalorian, and the upcoming Secret Invasion and She-Hulk series, so there is no reason to believe they will not want to bring back those responsible for making Moana such a hit five years ago.

There is still quite a way to go before we will get to see Moana return for her next adventure, but Disney’s decision to produce a sequel series rather than a simple movie shows that Disney+ is going to continue to see many more of their best-loved IPs branching out in new ways.

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