The Walt Disney Co. is reportedly developing a live-action version of its hit animated film “Moana,” which was released in 2016 and grossed nearly $683 million at global box offices. The news was announced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who voiced the character of Maui in the original film, at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Monday.
“Moana” is a story set in ancient Polynesia, following the journey of a teenage girl who sets sail to save her tribe. The original film was praised for its cultural representation, stunning visuals, and uplifting soundtrack, which featured songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
In his announcement, Johnson expressed his excitement and gratitude to be a part of bringing the story to the live-action big screen. He described “Moana” as not only a beautiful story, but also a reflection of his own culture and emblematic of his people’s grace and warrior strength. Johnson’s mother is Samoan, and he has been vocal about his pride in his Polynesian heritage.
Although the project is still in its early stages of development, fans of “Moana” are already eagerly anticipating the live-action adaptation. Disney has had success with live-action remakes of its animated classics, such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” and “Aladdin.” However, the live-action “Mulan,” released in 2020, received mixed reviews and faced controversy for its portrayal of Chinese culture.
Given the cultural significance of “Moana” and its emphasis on Polynesian representation, there will likely be high expectations for the live-action adaptation. It will be interesting to see how Disney approaches this project and works to ensure that the story and its characters are portrayed respectfully and authentically.
A live-action version of a film is a remake that uses real-life actors and settings instead of animation. It aims to retell the story in a more realistic and tangible way, often with a new spin or modernization. The concept of live-action adaptations has become increasingly popular in recent years, with Disney in particular having great success with their remakes of classic animated films.
Some examples of successful live-action adaptations include “The Jungle Book,” which was released in 2016 and grossed over $966 million worldwide. The film was directed by Jon Favreau and used cutting-edge technology to create realistic animals and environments. Similarly, the 2019 version of “The Lion King” utilized advanced CGI to create a photo-realistic world that closely mirrored the original animation. It grossed over $1.6 billion globally.
Other notable live-action remakes from Disney include “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “Cinderella.” These films all received positive reviews and were financially successful, proving that there is a demand for retellings of beloved stories in a live-action format.
However, not all live-action adaptations have been successful. The 2019 version of “Dumbo,” directed by Tim Burton, received mixed reviews and did not perform as well at the box office as Disney’s other live-action remakes. The same year, the live-action adaptation of “Mulan” faced controversy and boycotts due to its portrayal of Chinese culture.
Overall, live-action adaptations can provide a fresh take on familiar stories and introduce them to a new generation of viewers. While there are certainly risks involved in remaking beloved classics, successful live-action adaptations can become new cultural touchstones in their own right. It remains to be seen how the live-action “Moana” will fare, but with the involvement of Dwayne Johnson and the popularity of the original film, it has the potential to be a hit.