Oscar-nominated film-maker Taika Waititi is behind the script for Disney's latest animated feature about a Polynesian princess called Moana.

Disney announced the project today, releasing the first artwork from the film.

Waititi wrote the original script for Moana, according to Film Divider. The film-maker is behind some of New Zealand's most successful films including 2010's Boy and this year's vampire hit What We Do In The Shadows.

Set in the South Pacific, the film will follow Moana's quest as she sails the Pacific Ocean in search of a fabled island.


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The film will be directed by Disney staples, John Musker and Ron Clements, who previously delivered Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and The Princess and the Frog.

The story will also include Maui, who is a recurring character in both Maori and Polynesian mythology.

"Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself," Musker said. "She's the kind of character we all root for, and we can't wait to introduce her to audiences."

Disney's most recent animated princess film, Frozen earned a stunning $US1.27 billion worldwide after opening in November 2013, making it the No. 1 animated film of all time.

Moana will arrive in cinemas in late 2016.

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