In the middle of NBC's coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Walt Disney Animation debuted a daring TV spot for Moana, its upcoming animated adventure movie. In the 60-second teaser, the titular teenager (Auli'i Cravalho) asks Maui (Dwayne "TheRock" Johnson), the tattooed demigod of the wind and sea, to join her on a voyage to—what else?—"save the world."
Maui initially brushes her off, explaining, "I'm not going on a mission with some kid." But Moana convinces Maui that by helping her, he'll finally become the hero he was destined to be.
"We've got to go through a whole ocean of bad," Maui warns. "Ever defeat a lava monster?"
"No," Moana responds. "Have you?"
Later, an undeterred Moana tells him, "The ocean chose me for a reason!"
The teaser also introduced the lava witch, who until Sunday had only been seen in concept art.
Set 2,000 years ago in the South Pacific, Moana features the voice talents of Jemaine Clement as Tamatoa, Rachel House as Gramma Tala, Temuera Morrison as Chief Tui, Nicole Scherzinger as Sina, Alan Tudyk as Hei Hei and Phillipa Soo as a villager. Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and The Princess & the Frog) directed the CG-animated film, while Opetaia Foa'i, Mark Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda created original music to accompany it.
"From the day I started on this movie, I wanted to see Dwayne as Maui," producer Osnat Shurer said during 2016 Comic-Con in July. "His comic timing is impeccable. He's able to go to the more moving moments readily, and he's one of the nicest people I've ever worked with." Cravalho won the lead role after beating out thousands of other contenders. "She is fearless and has this great spirit about her," Clements said. "She really infused that into the character."
Though her story is set in the past, Moana is a modern heroine. "She's going to be a fantastic role model for young girls," Musker explained. "I think it's a great message for young women."