No, Moana won’t be Disney’s ‘first trans princess’ in an animated sequel

Right-wingers were up in arms over a report that Disney were going to introduce a trans princess in the rumoured sequel to the 2016 animated hit Moana – but it was all a hoax. 

Word started to spread last month that Moana was to become the House of Mouse’s “first transgender princess”, but the report originated from Mouse Trap News, a satirical website that publishes jokey fabricated stories about Disney. 

The story claimed that Moana would team up with shape-shifting demi-god Maui “again to find her true self” in the sequel, supposedly titled Moana 2: Rise of Kai.

The hero would begin her transition halfway through the movie and become Kai, sharing “his new male identity with his family and friends on the island”. 

The satirical blog post claimed the island of Motunui, which was originally “transphobic”, eventually accepts Kai, fixes their “bigoted mind set” and “fully embraces” the character. 

Mouse Trap News also released a video about the supposed “news” on their Instagram and TikTok channels, including an edited image of Moana as a transgender man. 

Conservatives were duped by the viral videos and shared their outrage online. One person commented on Instagram that the alleged changes were “disgusting” while another vowed to cancel their Disney+ subscription and “never take [their] kids to Disneyland again”. 

Meanwhile, on TikTok, some right-wingers promised to never watch Disney again if the news was true. 

Mouse Trap News’ bio explicitly states that it produces “fake stories” about Disney and that everything on the website is “not true, real or accurate, but it is fun”

Additionally, there’s been no announcement from Disney or any credible new source that there will even be an animated sequel to Moana – much less one with a trans storyline. 

However, in April, Dwayne Johnson, who provided the voice for Maui in the 2016 film, announced that a live-action remake was in the works. Seven months later, in an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he confirmed that the his next project he was the Disney reimagining. There have been no reports of any trans storyline in the movie.

Mouse Trap News has been the source of other (fake) rumours about queer representation in Disney films, reporting in October, that Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) would be marrying a woman in Frozen III.

Fans have thought for a while that Elsa could be queer

While Disney won’t be introducing an animated trans princess, many real life Disney Channel stars have come out publicly as LGBTQ+, including Hannah Montana‘s Miley Cyrus and High School Musical‘s Joshua Bassett.

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