Moana seen in 'Moana 2'
Walt Disney Studios

The Baby In The Moana 2 Trailer Has Fans Coming Up With Wild Theories

But let’s shut one down right now, please.

As a parent, there are few sources of joy that hit quite like well-made family entertainment. Because let’s be for real: our kids have control of the TV from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed for the first decade of their lives at least. So if they watch something we can also enjoy? That’s a gift, and few are greater than the 2016 movie Moana. So the trailer for Moana 2 has us excited... and wondering “who is that baby?”

That’s right, in the intentionally vague teaser trailer that dropped on May 29, we get quick glimpses of the adventure that’s in store. More way finding! More kakamora! More friends, old and new. And speaking of new friends, there’s a particular character who has captured fans’ imaginations.

In one shot, we see Moana’s community waving goodbye from a beautiful shore. Her dad and mom — Tui and Sina — stand front and center, and between them is a small child. So who is this tot? They appear to be a girl as they’re wearing a bandeau style top, typical of the women and girls we see in Motunui (the men who typically do not wear anything above the waist except jewelry and arm bands). So who is she? We haven’t been this shooketh since we learned Te Kā and Te Fiti were one in the same!

Walt Disney Animation Studios/YouTube
Walt Disney Animation Studios/YouTube

The internet, being the internet, has some thoughts...

Moana has a little sibling.

Tui and Sina are older, but they still have that spark! Or so the theory goes. Sure, it’s a sizable age gap (we don’t know the precise time-jump between Moana and Moana 2, but we do know that Moana was 16 in the first movie), but hardly unheard of. And considering the little one is being held lovingly by Moana’s parents, it makes sense that our heroine got a little sister sometime between the first and second films. There is, however, a more salacious theory out there.

Moana had a baby... with Maui.

This one seems to be quite popular, even going back a month when @DeluxeDisney, a Disney fan channel on YouTube speculated whether Moana and Maui’s next adventure would involve a child. Of course fan-fueled love stories are hardly new. (I don’t know how far down this rabbit hole anyone cares to go, but you can start here with a series of AI-generated fake trailers featuring Moana and Maui as parents.) But some on Twitter have speculated whether online ships can become canon in this new installment of the franchise.

“Either her parents got busy or Moana and Maui actually f-cked,” tweets @sebbyswiftjames.

“The fact that Moana and Maui had a baby together really annoys tf outta me,” complains @_Aliyahh1.

Sure he’s an ageless demigod and she’s (probably) either a teenager or not too far from her teen years, but, again, this would hardly unheard of. So maybe things between the two changed in the ensuing years.

Except of course she didn’t, you maniacs.

Come on, guys. For so many reasons it’s unlikely to the point of impossibility that we will see our two leads co-parenting in Moana 2.


For starters, Moana directors John Musker and Ron Clements are on the record as saying Moana’s lack of a romantic plot line in the first film was very intentional, allowing audiences to invest in the character’s growth and development rather than her finding a “happily ever after” with a man. Considering this follows the newer trend in Disney movies that de-emphasizes the importance of romantic love in women’s lives (see also Brave and Elsa in Frozen), it seems unlikely they’ll reverse course by pairing her with Maui in the sequel.

Secondly, it would be uncanny. Not just the age gap issue (though, make no mistake: very much the age gap issue), but we really just don’t see Disney heroines as mothers. To date, the only Disney princess to canonically have a child is Ariel (Melody) and that was in the direct-to-video The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. There’s a reason for that! These movies are for kids and kids aren’t going to relate to a parent figure. (Case in point, in Return to the Sea Ariel wasn’t really the main character; the story, and the audience, was primarily interested in Melody.)

Thirdly: what about Maui and Moana’s relationship in the first movie gave the slightest implication that they had even a whiff of romantic interest in one another? Look, we know some time has gone by in their world, but going from “16-year-old girl and ancient demi-god who forge a friendship” to “oh, you missed it: they fell in love had she popped out a baby who is now somewhere between 3 and 6.” If we’re going to accomplish anything else in this movie (and based on the trailer we’re in for another swashbuckling adventure) we do not have time to retread that tale.

Do I know any of this? Of course not: Disney is pretty good at keeping these things under wraps. But if I were a betting woman, I would feel very comfortable putting money on this little one being Moana’s sibling or some heretofore unknown small village friend who is unrelated but nevertheless beloved. Motherhood is amazing, but I feel like Moana sailing the South Pacific on adventures is going to be more interesting that the travails of her raising a child...