We finally know if Auli’i Cravalho is returning for Moana 2

After some questions, Moana actress Auli’i Cravalho confirmed her place for the upcoming sequel!
MOANA - (Pictured) Moana. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
MOANA - (Pictured) Moana. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved. /

After some debate, it’s finally settled whether or not one of the big stars of Moana will return for the surprise sequel. However, it’s only for this, not the upcoming live-action version. Find out more!

Earlier this month, Disney surprised everyone by announcing Moana 2, which is scheduled to premiere this Thanksgiving. It’s an unexpected move as Disney usually announces these years in advance rather than just months away. 

The original Moana was a massive hit in 2016, focusing on the title character going on a journey to save her island home from disaster. She teamed up with the demigod Maui on a grand journey packed with songs. 

The movie was a box office hit, and last year, plans were announced for a live-action version with Dwayne Johnson reprising his role as Maui. However, Auli’i Cravalho clarified she wouldn’t play the live-action Moana, which made sense as she’d be a bit too old for the role on screen. 

A bigger question was if Cravalho would also play Moana in the upcoming sequel. Given the sudden announcement and the fact the movie was originally meant to be a TV show, it would have been logical to assume a different actress was taking on the role. 

Thankfully for fans, Cravalho has confirmed she will indeed play Moana in the sequel. Deadline broke the news, and the actress then added a post on her Instagram account of herself outside Walt Disney Animation Studios with the line, “We’re sailing WAY beyond the reef this November.”

It still appears that Cravalho won’t be in the live-action version but just reprise the role for her voice part. The sequel’s plot has Moana and Maui reteam on a new adventure that takes them beyond the known ocean. 

The production does appear to be more rushed than usual for a Disney film, so it’s uncertain when Cravalho did the voice work (she had been cast as Moana two years before the original film was released). It's possible she did handle it for the planned TV show as voice work is much easier to fit into a schedule than a live-action role would be.

There are still concerns from fans on how rushed this film appears to be. However, at least fans can be assured that the original Moana is back for the sequel, which is a point in its favor. 

Moana 2 releases in theaters November 27.