While most of the time movies have the same title in every country, sometimes a studio is forced to change a title in particular regions because they can't get a trademark due to the fact that somebody has already used their title in that country. Other times titles need to be changed for...other reasons. Disney's Moana will actually go under the title of Oceania in Italy, and the reason is believed to be because Moana is the name of a famous Italian porn star.

Moana

While Disney's Italian arm has yet to comment, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Italians are of the opinion that the reason for the change is to separate the name of their family friendly movie from that of Moana Pozzi, a pornographic actress from the late 80s and early 90s. While the title could be changed for any number of reasons, what lends credence to this theory is that the title isn't the only thing changing. Throughout Europe, the name of the title character isn't Moana, it's Vaiana. It appears that the change has been made because if you put the name Moana into Google in Italy you're unlikely to get a Disney owned webpage. The studio likely wants to prevent Italian children from doing that. We can guess we'll never have a Disney princess named Jemma Jameson either.

Interestingly, THR says that Moana Pozzi got her name after her parents found it on a map of Hawaii (it means "deep water") and considering the Polynesian influence that went into the Disney movie, there's a better than even chance that Disney named their character for the same reason. Since the Italian Moana is apparently so popular that people are all assuming that this is the reason for the change, there's a pretty good chance they're right. If Disney was doing their due diligence they would have investigated all the different uses of the name simply for reasons like this. It would have been embarrassing to the company if everybody in Italy started making porn jokes about their character (not that the internet won't do that anyway).

Even if Disney didn't make the change specifically because their title shared a name with a porn star, the name change may have been made for a related reason. From all reports Moana Pozzi was a fairly successful and adept businesswoman, it's possible that the name Moana was simply already trademarked in Italy by the actress herself, though she passed away in 1994, meaning Disney couldn't do it themselves.

For whatever reason, while names may have been changed to protect the innocent (children of Italy) the movie itself should not suffer greatly for it. Disney's newest animated musical, be it Moana or Oceania hits theaters next week.

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