Moana's Title Was Changed To Avoid Confusion With An Italian Porn Star

Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
It's not unusual for film distributors to re-title movies for audiences overseas. In Germany, for example, Trainwreck was renamed Dating Queen; Swedish audiences know The Help as Niceville. Titles are usually altered to provide a clearer translation or to make a film more marketable in different cultures. But we've never heard of a movie being renamed for a reason quite like this one.
Disney's latest princess flick Moana was retitled Oceania for its Italian release. Disney has not commented on the name change, but, as Vulture first reported, the Italian press has put forth a very convincing theory. See, "Moana" is also the name of a famous Italian adult film actress who rose to fame in the '80s, starring in over 100 titles, according to Vulture.

Moana Pozzi — who died at 33 in 1994 — was described in a dazzling 2004 New York Times profile as "Italy's most revered porn star." At a French film festival earlier this year, Moana's directors reportedly confirmed that Pozzi was a large factor in the decision to rename the movie, according to Cartoon Brew. It makes sense: You wouldn't want to confuse or scare parents away from bringing young children, who are Disney's target audience, to see the movie.
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Photo: Pigi Cipelli\Archivio Pigi Cipelli\Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images.
Moana Pozzi in 1991
Since you'll probably never read about Moana Pozzi again in your life, please take a brief moment to appreciate the awesome progressiveness of this woman. According to the Times piece, Pozzi was quite the political activist. She cofounded a political movement called the Party of Love, whose platform included bettering sex education in schools and legalizing brothels.

"[While] Pozzi was performing in erotic cabarets and filming cheesy porn flicks, she lived a parallel life as a respected pundit on television talk shows, philosophizing about sexual freedom or holding forth on gay rights or denouncing the Mafia," the Times wrote. She was even beatified by some in the Church as a "modern-day Mary Magdalene."
All of which is to say: We obviously understand why Disney would change the name of their childrens' movie so as to not overlap with the moniker of an adult film star. But in our sex-positive minds, the crossover between the two women is an awesome coincidence.
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