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Disney to introduce new heroine, 'Moana'

New Disney heroine: Moana, a navigator from Oceania

Todd Leopold | 10/23/2014, 10 a.m.
Get ready for another addition to the line of Disney heroines: Moana, an ocean adventurer.
Disney announced it's making another movie with a notable female protagonist. This one, "Moana," is about a girl from Oceania who goes in search of adventure. She's the latest in a long line of princesses and strong women from the studio. (Photo credit/Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Get ready for another addition to the line of Disney heroines: Moana, an ocean adventurer.

"Moana," a film about a teenage girl in "ancient Oceania," according to the plot description, is scheduled to make its debut in late 2016.

Moana, who is described as a "born navigator," sets out on a voyage to seek a mysterious island. Her primary companion is Maui, a demigod, and together they "traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore."

Ron Clements and John Musker ("The Little Mermaid," "The Princess and the Frog") are directing.

Disney has always been a place for princesses -- a tendency that's earned them some criticism over the years -- but it's hard to argue with the box office. Last year's "Frozen" is the highest-grossing animated film of all time, and other Disney classics -- including "Beauty and the Beast," "The Little Mermaid" and "Cinderella" -- have been cash cows for the studio, influencing both popular culture and the bottom line. (More "Frozen" is coming, too.)

"Moana" promises more of the modern version: beautiful, clever and adventurous, said Musker in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself," he said. "She's the kind of character we all root for, and we can't wait to introduce her to audiences."