2016 may have played out like a 12-month long game of good news/bad news, but Disney sure did its hardest to bring us all joy at the multiplex, thanks to movies like Moana. So as we head into 2017, you might find yourself wondering when Moana will be on Netflix, so you can relive one of the bright spots of the last calendar year from the comfort of your home. Or maybe you're going to miss it in theaters and need to know when you can stream it for the first time. Either way, the mystery of Moana is one that needs to be solved.
Unfortunately, there's no easy answer as to the when. But fortunately, we do know that we won't be waiting too long, thanks to a deal that Disney struck with Netflix that makes the streaming service the exclusive U.S. home of all the House Of Mouse's new output as of last year. And yes, that includes all branches of Disney (Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm), so you'll soon be able to stream 2016's biggest hits — like Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Zootopia, and, yes, Moana — straight to your TV screen.
That brings us back to the question of how long we'll have to wait to enjoy the gorgeous animation and beautiful music of Moana on our TV screens. While there is no specific release date set quite yet, we can take a guess based on Disney's history. Finding Dory, which premiered in theaters on June 17 of last year, was released on home movie five months later and is currently available to view on DVD via Netflix. Assuming a similar timeline, if you're lucky enough to be a streaming and DVD subscriber on Netflix, you could conceivably rent the film from them as early as April.
For those without access to Netflix's DVD archives, the timeline for streaming is a bit more ambiguous. Zootopia, which was released in March, was made available for streaming in September — a wait of six months. But Civil War, which was released in early May, didn't debut on Netflix streaming until Christmas Day — a wait of almost eight months. Assuming a seven-month average, then, it's conceivable that Moana will be available to stream on Netflix in late June or early July… making it the perfect summer gift for Disney fans.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy Moana between now and the hot summer months. Over a month into its release, the animated musical is still one of the highest-grossing movies at the box office and will probably stick around theaters for a while. The soundtrack is already available to buy and stream so you can listen to Lin-Manuel Miranda's awesome tunes on repeat while you wait. And you can watch the Oscars this February, where Moana will likely face off against its own Disney sibling Zootopia in the Best Animated Feature Film category and could land in the Original Song category as well for Miranda's rousing anthem "How Far I'll Go."
June may seem like a long time from now, but I'm sure it'll fly by in a flash — mostly because we all have Emma Watson's Beauty And The Beast to look forward to between now and then…