Disney’s Moana Was Renamed in Italy to Reportedly Avoid Confusion With a Porn Star

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Photo: DISNEY

If you're vacationing in Milan or Florence in the coming weeks and have an urge to see the new Disney Polynesian princess film Moana, don't be alarmed if the local cinema is screening an animated romp called Oceania instead. You see, in Italy there was a famous pornographic actress named Moana Pozzi, and according to Cartoon Brew although not confirmed by Disney that X-rated coincidence was enough for the media conglomerate to rename the film the more family-friendly Oceania to avoid a potential confusion among different fan communities. (The story has been prominent in Italian media since last year.) Pozzi, who died in 1994, appeared in over 100 adult films in Italy throughout her career, ran unsuccessfully to become the mayor of Rome, and also co-founded the now-dissolved political party the Love Party, which sought to legalize brothels and provide better sex education to young adults. She also starred in a politically charged animated short film titled Moanaland, and to this day remains what the New York Times describes as "Italy’s most revered porn star."

Interestingly, in an update to their original story, Cartoon Brew was contacted by a reader who said Moana directors John Musker and Ron Clements were asked about the name change at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France earlier this year, and they confirmed that Pozzi indeed "played a big part in the decision" to call the film Oceania instead. The geographic region has a nice ring to it, no?

Update 4:55 p.m.: When reached for comment, Disney told Vulture they've changed the names of movies internationally for "a variety of reasons," which they did not specify.