When Disney's newest animated musical "Moana" hits theaters overseas next week, it will have a different name -- and the reasoning behind the switcheroo is about as un-Disney as it gets.

While it's common for movie studios to rename certain films for overseas audiences based on cultural differences, it was probably pretty hard for the Mouse House to anticipate why it would need to change "Moana" when it hit Italy: The film shares a name with a famous Italian porn star. Moana Pozzi was a superstar during her short life, rising up through the ranks of adult filmmaking to also become a television personality, model, actress, and even a politician. (Her Wikipedia entry is fascinating.)

Pozzi, who died in 1994 at age 33, is still a beloved pop culture figure in Italy. And as one unnamed marketing exec explained to Variety, "in any Italian focus group, 'Moana' is Moana Pozzi the porn star."

Despite the mostly positive connotations that the real-life Moana's name conjures in the country, Disney didn't want its heartwarming story of a young Polynesian girl to become synonymous with an adult film actress, and so the company quietly changed the film's Italian title to "Oceana." The studio hasn't made any explicit statement about the switch, though according to Variety, Disney's head of theatrical marketing in Italy acknowledged the coincidence last year, telling exhibitors that the company was "thinking about this issue."

"Oceana" is due in Italian theaters on November 22, one day before "Moana" hits U.S. cinemas.

[via: Variety]

Photo credit: Disney

Moana
PG2016
Based on 43 critics

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December 8, 2016
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categories Movies