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Disney Animation announced  today that it will release its 56th animated feature, Moana, in late 2016 — two years ahead of its originally predicted 2018 date.  Walt Disney Animation Studios revealed plans today for Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated comedy-adventure about a spirited teenager on an impossible mission to fulfill her ancestors’ quest. In theaters in late 2016, the film is directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, Aladdin).

In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.

“John and I have partnered on so many films—from The Little Mermaid to Aladdin to The Princess and the Frog,” said Clements. “Creating Moana is one of the great thrills of our career. It’s a big adventure set in this beautiful world of Oceania.”

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