Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast South Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one today knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated adventure about a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), and produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.
I don’t know about you guys but I am really excited about this movie. My daughter, Mahaylah (pronounced Ma-Hail-La) which is a Native American name, loves Disney movies, and has always resonated with the princesses. I am excited to see an islander represented on a Disney Movie, and am eager to see if Disney gets the culture right! Disney is going in the right direction with adding another princess of color to the line of Disney Princesses. There definitely needs to be more of those!
What I like most about Auli’i Cravalho is her natural beauty. I think she is going to be one of the greatest Disney princesses to ever. Here is why. She brings diversity to Disney, which is already dominated by white princesses. The natural element to her just fits with the movie like a glove. She is so natural, and fresh looking. Polynesians have a deep connection to the Ocean, which will show in this movie. Moana is going to be great! Moan is one tough cookie. She ventures into forbidden territory, battles bad monsters, and teams up with a Demi god! Who wouldn’t love this princess?
About the Actress
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana” has found her voice following a worldwide search to cast the film’s title character. Native Hawaiian newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, 14, joins Dwayne Johnson in the big-screen adventure about a spirited and fearless teenager named Moana (voice of Cravalho) who, with help from demi-god Maui (voice of Johnson), sets out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder.
While hundreds of talented people from across the Pacific Islands were eager to try out for the role, Cravalho set her sights firmly on her sophomore year of high school. “I didn’t think I would have a chance,” she said. “When I was little, I used to dance around the house singing at the top of my lungs. In my mind, that was performing and I loved the feeling of it. But I never imagined being in a Disney movie, being Moana—representing my culture in that way.”
Fortunately, the film’s Hawai’i casting director remembered an unrelated audition Cravalho did as part of an a cappella group, which had been submitted for a talent showcase for a charity. Feeling the local teen would be perfect for the Disney role, she tracked her and her mother down and invited Cravalho to audition. “Her audition was fantastic – she was such a raw talent,” said producer Osnat Shurer. “Auli’i was among a small number of girls we brought back for a second round of auditions. Then we flew her and her mom over to audition at our studios in Burbank.”
“Auli’i demonstrated a certain fearlessness in her auditions and call-backs,” said director John Musker. “She has a playful, mischievous wit. She can project vulnerability, she doesn’t seem intimidated at all by the challenges ahead, and her Polynesian background has helped shape her connection to family, hard work and music. These are all qualities she shares with Moana.”
“Moana is a vibrant, tenacious 16-year-old growing up on an island where voyaging is forbidden,” added director Ron Clements. “But Moana has been drawn to the ocean since she can remember and is desperate to find out what’s beyond the confines of her island.”
Cravalho has already started recording for the role.
“Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.
Do let us know what you think of the newest edition to the Disney Princess lineup. Are you as exciting as I am to see a new princess?