In the last twelve months, Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda has won a Tony, a Grammy, a Pulitzer Prize, and a Trimee (that’s an award given by the American Stylists Society, for excellence in the field of goatee-maintenance). So it’s not too crazy to predict that he might eventually find himself in the running for an Oscar, as well, thanks to his role as a co-composer in Disney’s Moana, the South Pacific-set animated musical that’s due this fall.
Starring Dwayne Johnson as the muscle-bound, inked-up demigod Maui—and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as Moana Waialiki, the titular princess who teams up with him to seek out a mythical island—Moana is directed by longtime Disney collaborators John Musker and Ron Clements, who last helmed 2009’s The Princess and the Frog. But the film’s real headline-grabbing name might be Miranda, who co-wrote the film’s score with Opetaia Foai, a member of the long-running New Zealand Pacific-fusion band Te Vaka, and Tarzan co-composer Mark Mancina. It’s Miranda’s first stab at long-form, non-Star Wars songwriting since Hamilton, and you can catch a quick sample in the teaser, which also features an adorable pig, some lush oceanic imagery, and a happily diverse cast of heroes and heroines. Will this be the greatest Aloha-state animated epic since 1986’s Garfield in Paradise? We’ll find out when Moana opens in Thanksgiving.
Pause at: 1:08 for some endorphin-spurring dolphin-splashing.