The following contains minor spoilers for Moana.

Animated feature films take years to make. While one idea might be the spark that begins the process, it's not uncommon for that idea to go through significant changes over time. Moana is no different. Disney's newest animated musical is now in theaters and the soundtrack is now available online. Included in the complete edition of the soundtrack are several demos and unused songs that show some significant differences in how some parts of Moana were originally going to play out.

We know that originally directors Ron Clements and John Musker were working on a film idea that was going to be solely about Maui, before they realized it needed to be a different story. But even once Moana was born, the movie still could have taken a very different path from beginning to end.

Moana

Moana's Motivation Was Completely Different

One of the classic moments in any Disney musical is the "I want" song. Every great musical has a song where the character sings about that thing their life is missing. In Moana that song is called "How Far I'll Go" but it was very nearly the much more simply titled, "More." It's common in these Disney princess films for the heroine to rebel against her family because they dream of something more for themselves than what fate has dictated. That's very much where "More" comes from. It's a catchy tune, but it doesn't show any of the internal conflict that Moana feels in "How Far I'll Go." In this version, Moana wants to leave the island simply for the sake of getting out and seeing something new.

This is reinforced in a demo version of the film's opening song "Where You Are." The final verse of the song, sung by Moana, in which she accepts her role as the new chief, is entirely missing from the demo version recorded by Lin-Manuel Miranda. One of the things that makes Moana a unique character is that she isn't simply some rebellious teenager, she understands and accepts her responsibilities, her adventure is a response to that. However, it almost wasn't.

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