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No, Wicked vs. Moana 2 is not the next Barbenheimer

No, 'Wicked' vs. 'Moana 2' is not the next Barbenheimer

Wicked poster; Moana
Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock; Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures

Two movies coming out on the same day does not a Barbenheimer make.

rachelkiley

There’s a new battle brewing at the box office after Disney made a surprise announcement this week — Moana is getting a sequel, and it’s set to hit theaters the same day as Wicked.

The original animated feature premiered in 2016, and followed the titular character (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) on her quest to find demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) to save her people during a blight. It quickly joined the ranks of Disney’s most beloved animated films, but CEO Bob Iger still shocked everyone with the announcement that it would finally be getting a sequel eight years later.

“Walt Disney Animation Studios’ epic animated musical Moana 2 takes audiences on an expansive new voyage with Moana, Maui and a brand-new crew of unlikely seafarers,” reads the official description. “After receiving an unexpected call from her wayfinding ancestors, Moana must journey to the far seas of Oceania and into dangerous, long-lost waters for an adventure unlike anything she’s ever faced.”

Iger also announced a theatrical release date for the film — November 27.

The holidays tend to be a popular time for big family movies to hit theaters, and we already know that specific date is when the first part of the long-anticipated feature film adaptation of Wicked will also be premiering.

Wicked, of course, is based on the Broadway musical, which is based on the Gregory Maguire book of the same name, and follows The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba (Cynthia Erivo) and Good Witch of the North, Galinda (Ariana Grande), during their formative years, flipping the L. Frank Baum story on its head.

The fact that two exciting movies are being released on the same day has already drawn comparisons to the Barbenheimer (Barbie vs Oppenheimer) phenomenon.

In other words, apparently there are a lot of people who don’t understand what Barbenheimer actually was, or why it took off the way it did. Movies getting the same theatrical release date happens constantly; the Barbenheimer of it all came about largely from the juxtaposition between two diametrically opposed aesthetics and the way they strangely wound up working well together.

Moana 2 and Wicked…don’t seem to fit that bill.

Then again, perhaps we could call Moana 2 vs Wicked the Barbenheimer for people who are chronically online and regurgitate popular terms without taking the time to understand what they mean, thus diluting the meaning entirely.

Or we could just go see a movie or two on November 27 and call it a day.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.