moana 2 wicked barbenheimer


‘Moana 2’ and ‘Wicked: Part One’ are being released on the same day—will it be 2024’s ‘Barbenheimer’?

"Watch out 'Barbenheimer,' here comes 'Moaned'."


Allie Hayes

Pop Culture

Posted on Feb 8, 2024

Yesterday just before Disney’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Bob Iger announced that their beloved 2016 animated feature, Moana, would be getting a surprise sequel to be released this November.

Now, this is not to be confused with the live action version of the original film starring Dwayne “The Scorpion King of my Heart” Johnson, which is still scheduled to be released sometime in 2025, this is an entirely new story.

According to Deadline, Iger further explained how the shocking news came to be, and it’s really quite simple: basically, the studio decided to turn a Moana TV series they’d been working on for Disney+ into a sequel film instead. 

Why that sudden urge? Deadline went on to state that, on the Q1 earnings call, Iger revealed that “Moana was the most watched in 2023; with over a billion hours watched.” The Disney brand is no stranger to announcing sequels no one expected with super-close release dates, having done a similar reveal for the mega-popular Frozen 2 back in 2019.

Auliʻi Cravalho — who just finished an entire press tour for the new Mean Girls movie, by the way — uploaded a TikTok yesterday that referenced the fact that she successfully kept this very large secret quiet for as long as she did.

Fans were surprised but excited about the prospect of new stories in Moana’s world, but one thing stood out to people immediately—the date of the film’s release.

You see, this year, the highly-anticipated film adaptation of the Broadway smash hit Wicked: Part One is also scheduled to be released on Nov. 27, making this Thanksgiving weekend a big deal for Disney lovers and musical theater kids alike (a Venn Diagram of which I imagine is pretty much a circle).

But people didn’t stop there, as fans quickly pointed out that this appears to be our next “Barbenheimer,” which is high praise. For those not in the know, “Barbenheimer” refers to the 2023 releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer, which also came out on the same day. Despite their obvious major tonal differences, the two films were christened an unofficial double-feature, with many viewers making an event out of seeing both films in the same weekend (or, some cases, the same day).

It was also the birth of many, many, many memes:

And speaking of memes, you better believe fans have already gone to town on Moana 2 and Wicked: Part One, making all kinds of jokes about the new unexpected double-feature:

With all that being said, we need to come up with a better merged name because there’s no way we’re calling it “Moaned” for the next nine months…might I suggest “Moaned: Part One” instead?

Anyway, pick your fighter—or heck, go see both!—when this unlikely double-feature hits theaters Nov. 27.

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*First Published: Feb 8, 2024, 10:52 am CST