Search form

David Derrick Jr. to Direct Disney’s ‘Moana’ Series

Musical being produced for Disney+ is set as the inaugural project at company’s new Vancouver studio opening later this year; Oscar-nominated Osnat Shurer will serve as the show’s producer.

Walt Disney Animation Studios has just announced that David G. Derrick Jr. (Moana, Strange World) has been named director of the upcoming musical long-form series Moana, created by Disney Animation for Disney+. He joins Oscar-nominated Moana producer Osnat Shurer on the new series.

Derrick, a respected story artist, first joined Disney Animation to work on Moana, and in the process reconnected with his family’s Samoan roots. He was involved in the storyboarding of some of the film’s most iconic moments.

“Working on Moana was a gift, personally and professionally,” Derrick shared. “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.”

“Dave's great story instincts, his visionary cinematic style, and his deep love and commitment to Moana and the Pacific Island cultures that inspired her world, make him a perfect director for the series,” noted Shurer.

While Derrick and his story team are in development, the recently announced new Walt Disney Animation Studios Vancouver, set as the series’ production home, is ramping up their staffing, as the Studio nears its official 2022 opening.

“We have been elated by the positive response from the community,” commented Walt Disney Animation Studios Vancouver head Amir Nasrabadi. “In the next many months, we are continuing to post staff positions for our studio, and with the talent we have here, and the fact our teams’ first project together will be the Moana series, I can’t imagine a better way to launch the studio.”  

Added Shurer, “Getting to explore the story of Moana further is really exciting for us, particularly in this extremely cinematic, musical, long-form event series, and we can’t wait to meet all the amazing artists who are joining Disney Animation Vancouver to help us bring Moana’s next gorgeous journey to life!”

Source: Walt Disney Animation Studios

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is assistant news editor at Animation World Network.