Moana’s Upcoming Disney+ Series Officially Has a Director


Moana has been getting a lot of attention these days, partly due to the Disney princess’s fifth anniversary and partly due to the ongoing Ultimate Princess Celebration that celebrates all Disney princesses — and now, Moana is headed for even more limelight with her upcoming Disney+ series! A director for the Walt Disney Animation Studios Moana series was just announced recently by Disney Animation in the Tweet below, and it is storyboard artist David G. Derrick Jr. who will be taking the reins as the director of the animated Disney princess series.


Credit: Disney Princesses


Credit: Disney

David G. Derrick Jr. worked on the original Moana movie from 2016, giving him plenty of experience with Moana’s setting, storyline, and the character’s development. He also has a Samoan background and expressed excitement about continuing to highlight Polynesian culture, saying the following as part of the announcement about directing the new Moana series: “Working on Moana was a gift, personally and professionally. The film Moana caught and shared the spirit of Polynesia with the world. I am honored to continue her story and to celebrate the rich and beautiful cultures of the Pacific Islands”.


Credit: Disney

David G. Derrick Jr. has also worked on Raya and the Last Dragon (2021), Encanto (2021), the new version of The Lion King (2019), and the Marvel animated show The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (2010-2012). For Dreamworks, he worked on Megamind (2010) and How to Train Your Dragon (2010).  

The adventurous plot of Moana’s first movie, its open-ended finale about her explorations of the ocean, the comical dynamic between Moana and the demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), the poignancy of Moana’s deep love for the sea, and the incredible scenery in the Polynesian setting from the 2016 feature film all make for a perfect follow-up, so a “long-form musical series that follows spirited voyager Moana as she ventures far beyond the reef” makes a lot of sense. Disney+’s use of a director who already has experience with both Moana and Polynesian culture will most likely make this new Moana series even better!


Credit: Popsugar

The new Moana series is set to premiere on Disney+ in 2024, after the 2023 premiere of the animated series starring Princess Tiana. Until then, Moana voice actress Auli’i Cravalho will also be keeping her voiceover skills ready by starring as the lead character in another new animated series! Are you excited to see more of Moana and Auli’i, and to see what David G. Derrick Jr. does as director of the Disney+ show?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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