Though it was spotted during this last August's Disney D23 Expo, it looks like Walt Disney Animation Studios is acknowledging the existence of its upcoming computer-animated feature, Moana. Moana will introduce a new royal female character to their stable: Moana Waialiki.
Disney describes the film as such:
"The main character will be Moana Waialiki, a sea voyaging enthusiast, and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her family needs her help, she sets off on an epic journey. The film will also include demi-gods and spirits taken from real mythology"
Hopefully, that last bit won't spark any protests (though this reporter, living in Hawai‘i, is not optimistic about that). The film is being directed by John Musker and Ron Clements who co-directed Disney features The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Princess and the Frog. Despite early rumors, Musker says that the animation technique seen in Disney's Paper will not be used for this film.
The voyage will take a while, as the film is expected to reach theaters in 2018 (!), In the meantime, we should be seeing other films from this studio, including Big Hero Six (November 7, 2014) and Giants (expected in 2016).
Disney Moana logo
Moana concept art
*Note that the Hawaiian word Moana means "ocean". Hawai‘i is part of the Polynesian Islands, though this movie will be set in South Polynesia.