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Meet Moana, the new Disney Polynesian princess

Shanee Edwards is a screenwriter who earned her master's degree at UCLA Film School. She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her TV pilot, Ada and the Machine, is cur...

New Polynesian princess could be Disney's answer to Shark Week

Forget the Nordic princesses of Frozen. Moana hails from Polynesia and is all set for a tropical ocean adventure in 2018.

Prepare to go about 2,000 years back in time — way before Europeans like the British navigator Captain James Cook set sail in the South Pacific, looking for new land.

Positive princess role models >>

In the upcoming computer-animated film Moana, we'll meet a fiercely brave princess who's able to navigate the ocean by herself. Disney describes the movie as a "mythic adventure set across a series of islands set across the South Pacific."

Moana is the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators and will set off on a marine adventure, calling on the help of demigods and spirits from traditional Polynesian culture.

Though we don't know which mystical deities Moana will summon, some possibilities are Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, her older sister Namaka, the water spirit, and the fire god Lono-makua.

For supporting characters, there's a whole ocean of possibilities. Moana may befriend an orca or another type of dolphin. We'd like to see a singing octopus or even a dancing sea horse. We're betting that at some point, Moana will have a shark encounter, creating high-stakes drama for the young princess. It's possible that Disney could go against stereotype and create a shark character that's not vicious, but rather some type of ally for the princess.

Weather could also play a role in Moana's tale. She could possibly face a tsunami or typhoon; however, it's unlikely she'll face a sharknado.

Have a Sharknado 2 drinking game! Because sharks >>

As for actresses to voice Moana, no one's been cast yet, but we'd like to see Q'orianka Kilcher (The New World), Selena Gomez, or even the hilarious Mindy Kaling.

Exploring Oahu's culture, nature and food scene >>

One thing we can be sure of: Disney will no doubt use Moana to promote its Hawaiian resort Aulani, located in Ko Olina, Hawaii.

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