This last Wednesday I was invited to the screening of some of the bonus features that would be seen on the Blu-ray release of “Moana” coming out in March. The screening was in the newly refurbished animation building across the street from the main Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA. I’ve seen the iconic giant sorcerers hat from the freeway for years, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to go inside. The Roy E. Disney Animation Building, is the name of the structure and it’s lovely. I’m hoping they continue previewing Blu-Ray bonus features in this theater, because seeing it on the big screen is gorgeous.
We were greeting by concept art from the film and everyone got a pretty black ‘stone’ necklace that we put on immediately. After a music and dance performance, producer Osnat Shurer introduced herself and the first clip to watch, called “Things You Didn’t Know About…” A fun, rapid fire Q&A with Dwayne Johnson (Maui), Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) and directors Ron Clements and Don Hall.
One the directors, Ron, joined Osnat after the first clip to introduce the next bonus feature. A beautiful 30 minute documentary – “Voice Of The Island”. It was explained during the press conference that the team behind the making of “Moana” went to the Pacific Islands many times to get to know the people and their culture so they can be true to the telling of the story. What they didn’t include when explaining that is the cameras were rolling the whole time and documented their visits and interviewed all these people and learned so much about the beauty that is the culture of the Pacific. Let’s just say, I should’ve brought Kleenex.
The (what we thought was…) last sneak peek was all about the music of “Moana” titled “They Know The Way – Making The Music Of Moana”. This short featured Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina – The brains and talent behind all the Moana music. It was fun to see a behind the scenes look at these three super talented musicians doing their craft. And to watch the bromance blossom was fun and heart warming.
After a brief Q&A touching upon how excited they were when they got the news for the Oscar nominations (they were in Stockholm) and an inside look at the writing of my favorite song ‘Shiny’ (it was the last segment filmed, recorded and was influenced by Bowie) we got an exclusive look at a short animated film called “Gone Fishing”. This little nugget of fun featured Auli’i and The Rock as their characters Moana and Maui. It was short and sweet and yes, included on the blu-ray.
The afternoon concluded with some nibbles and music. The whole experience was wonderful and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it. To anyone who saw “Moana” in the theater and loved it, or even if you missed it, find the Blu-ray! The film is an instant classic and the bonus features are well worth owning it. Mark your calendars for March 7th!
Here’s a few more pictures of the art in the lobby (Sorry about the quality, I was on my phone!)