After months of agonizing anticipation, we’ve got our first look at Disney’s next Princess: Moana.
We’ve been given breathtaking concept art, but at D23 we’re getting an image of the girl in full CGI glory. Moana’s got strength in her stance. She’s got an athletic build, which is something you don’t see in other Disney Princesses. I like her mischievous smile. She’s saying she can take it. With all that’s riding on her, I hope she can.
Right now there are seven (Disney counts Merida from Brave) European Princesses and only four that are women of color. Moana will make that five. But while Jasmine and Tatiana have been accepted into the ranks, Mulan and Pocahontas are often forgotten about. The two don’t sell. Merchandise is a major part of this Disney brand of characters and Moana will not be considered a success if she doesn’t sell her merchandise as well as the others.
But before the merchandise, the movie itself needs to make bank. Disney’s entered a new era of their animation department (meaning CGI) with Tangled and Frozen being massive successes at the box office. Moana is not expected to be the next Frozen (because nothing can really be the next Frozen), but it does need to do as well as Tangled.
Disney’s put a lot of faith in Moana so I hope she can deliver. She needs more than just a favorable review and big box office numbers. The first few months on the big screen isn’t what counts to Disney in the long run. What makes them money is the merchandise and DVD’s. With this first look at the character, were given a glimpse into her potential. I think the character can not only be beloved by girls (and boys!) everywhere, but she can be incredibly lucrative. I have hope that she can do better than Mulan and Pocahontas. We’ve just been introduced to Moana, but we’re sure we’ll be seeing her face for a long, long time.
With any luck, Disney’s got their next Princess.