Movies & TV

Disney renames Moana in Europe because of an Italian porn star

Turns out Moana isn't just a cartoon princess.
IMAGE Esquire UK
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"No wifi", "eyeball papercut", "starring Adam Sandler"there are some words that should never go together.

But there are two in particular that, when conjoined by association, could never sit together for fear the very fabric of the universe might rupture, sucking us all into the Great Nothing.

Don't say it, don't even whisper it. Just read it, then try to forget you ever did: Disney and porn.

Anyway, now it's happened.

Turned out the universe didn't rupture, but Disney was forced to rename its latest offering, Moana, for some European audiences amid confusion between its main characteran adventurous Polynesian teenager from a land of cartoon people with giant eyes and perfectly-even Crayola skintonesand a dead Italian porn star.


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Moana Pozzi was one of Italy's most famous adult actresses until her death aged 33 in 1994. She was also a model, an actress, a TV personality, a writer and a politician... but most Italians prefer to remember her for her films, like Butt Naked, Rear Burner and Manbait.

So to avoid any further conflagration between child-safe Moana and very-child-unsafe Moana, Disney has changed the Italian name of their new movie to Oceania, and that of its protagonist to Vaiana.

Like the Disney princess, Pozzi's first name had Polynesian roots; she was named after a Hawaiian island that means "the point where the sea is deepest."

Similarities don't end there. Pozzi herself once starred in an animated movie of her own, called Moanaland, about a porn star who fights corruption in Italian politics.

According to a New York Times profile of the star, Moana was "Italy's best-loved porn star." "Stunningly beautiful with a razor-sharp mind, Pozzi created a public persona that in just a few years became as popular with hormonally charged young men as with devout grandmothers," the profile continued.

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It's not the first time a Hollywood film has changed its name to suit international audiences. The Sixth Sense had no direct translation in Chinese when it came out in 1999, so Chinese movie chiefs renamed it as He's A Ghost. Needless to say, the movie had rather less impact in China as a result.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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