Moana Lead Role Goes to 14 year old Newcomer

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Auli’i Cravalho

Walt Disney Animation Studios conducted a nationwide search to find the perfect voice for their new film “Moana.”

Joining Dwayne Johnson in the film will be Native Hawaiian newcomer Auli’i Cravalho. At 14 years old, Auli’I will be the voice behind a fearless teen named Moana who with the help of demi-god Maui (Johnson) sets out on a daring mission of discovery and to prove herself as master wayfinder.

Legend has it that 3,000 years ago, the greatest sailers voyaged across the South Pacific discovering the many islands of Oceania.  The voyages stopped for a millennium and to this day we do not know why.   The story of Moana brings us a young girl setting off on an daring mission to prove herself worthy as master wayfinder.   Along the way, Moana meets the once mighty demi-god, Maui and together they travel the open seas, fighting creatures, and going against unbeatable odds.

Auli’I was chosen from hundreds of talented Pacific Islanders trying out for the lead role. A sophomore in high school, Cravalho “did not think I had a chance since in my mind performing was dancing around the house and singing at the top of ny lungs”, like when she was a young child.  Auli’I said ”I never imagined being in a Disney movie, being Moana — representing my culture in that way.”

The film’s Hawai’i casting director already had her in mind, remembering her from a previous audition as part of an a cappella group.  Tracking down Cravalho and her mom, she was invited to audition and the rest as they say is history!

Athough a raw talent, her first audition was fantastic according to producer Osnat Shurer.   She was one of a small group of girls brought back for a second audition and subsequent audition at the 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 Moana which will be in theatres, Nov 23, 2016.

I’m excited to see this new movie from Walt Disney Studios and meet Moana. Enjoy the video below and follow us on for updates and news about your favorite Disney entertainment.


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