Why Moana’s Title Is Different In Italy

Disney changed Moana’s title in many European countries, but Italy received the unique title of Oceania. Here’s the reason for Moana’s title change.

Disney’s animated hit Moana had a different title in Italy for a very unique reason. Disney’s animated movie empire is built on the back of princess stories, and it remains a key part of the company’s storytelling today. Recent releases like Frozen, Moana, and Raya and the Last Dragon introduced new Disney princesses who are incredibly popular with younger audiences. Released in 2016, Moana is a coming-of-age story following a young girl named Moana, who encounters demigods and plenty of adventure as she tries to save her people.

With the star power of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson playing the demigod Maui, Moana became a huge success for Disney. This was due to the combination of Moana‘s great story, stunning animation, Auli’i Cravalho’s performance as Moana, and a great soundtrack including contributions from Lin-Manuel Miranda. It received great reviews, a Best Animated Feature Film Oscar nomination, another Oscar nomination for the song “How Far I’ll Go,” and earned $645 million worldwide.

Related: Where & When Moana Takes Place

Depending on where in the world people saw Moana, they might know the great animated movie by another name. Disney retitled the film in different countries, with most European countries using Vaiana. This change was reflected in the movie too, as Moana’s name was changed to Vaiana due to copyright issues. However, the only difference came with Italy. Disney retitled Moana as Oceania, but the main character’s name is still called Vaiana. The Oceania title refers to Moana‘s Polynesian real-life inspiration. So why didn’t Disney keep the Moana title in Italy? It is because Disney was avoiding drawing attention to a prominent adult film star named Moana.

Click here to watch 15 Details Disney And Pixar Changed For Different Countries on YouTube

oceania Moana Title in Italy

Italy is the home to a prominent porn star named Moana Pozzi. She rose to fame in Italy during the 1980s after experimenting with adult film, where she became the subject of controversy. Her first role was under an alias because she was the star of a TV show meant for kids. This only boosted Pozzi’s fame and led to her becoming more popular in the 1990s as she fully pursued adult films. Despite her pornographic career, Moana Pozzi was a beloved figure in Italy for her on-screen work and her advocacy for LGBT rights.

Disney never confirmed that Moana Pozzi’s name recognition led to Moana‘s title change in Italy, but it makes sense. The family-friendly studio would want to separate itself from a porn star and any chance of audiences associating their animated movie with Pozzi’s career. Even with Moana‘s different title in Italy, the movie still performed pretty well – as it earned $16 million in the country. Since it went by Oceania there, the film’s performance can’t be attributed to confusion from unknowing moviegoers expecting something very different for a movie with a “Moana” involved.

MORE: Moana 2 Updates: Release Info, Story, Will It Happen?

  • Moana (2016)Release date: Nov 23, 2016

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