Brow Beat

Disney Had to Change Moana’s Title in Italy to Avoid Being Confused With a Porn Star

Italian audiences will see Oceania instead.

Disney

Italian audiences won’t have to wait too much longer than Americans to see Disney’s Moana, but when they do, it will have a different, less scandalous title. The animated film, which comes out in Italy in December, has been renamed Oceania for Italian audiences, to avoid any assocation with the late Moana Pozzi, a famed TV personality and pornographic actress.

Pozzi, who starred in dozens of adult films, died in 1994, but her name is still a recognizable one in Italy; in fact, Sky Italia aired a miniseries about her, also called Moana, just a few years ago. Variety reports that Disney’s Italian head of theatrical marketing, Davide Romani, acknowledged that the studio had been “thinking about this issue” during an exhibitors meeting earlier this year, shortly before the first Italian posters were released with a different name: Oceania. In the interest of keeping things family-friendly all around, the protagonist’s name has also been changed, to Vaiana.

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An American movie getting a different title overseas isn’t terribly unusual—heck, Zootopia is known as Zootropolis in the U.K.—but what’s confusing here is why Italian executives chose to rename their latest release Oceania instead of just calling it Vaiana, which is the film’s title in some other European countries. There’s a nice symmetry to having the protagonist’s name match the movie’s title, and it hearkens back to some of Disney’s best releases—think Pocahontas, Aladdin, or Cinderella.

But hey, at the very least, Italian parents won’t have to worry about any awkward search engine mix-ups.

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