“You may hear a voice inside. And if that voice starts to whisper to follow the farthest star … Moana, that voice inside is who you are.” ~ Gramma Tala, “Moana”
In the beginning there was only ocean and an island princess chosen by the ocean to follow its whisper and follow the farthest star and in doing so, save the their world.
From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. “Moana is the 16-year-old daughter of the chief of Motunui,” says director Ron Clements. “She’s athletic, nimble, compassionate and incredibly smart. She has a never-say-die attitude and a profound connection to the ocean.” “So it’s troubling to her, to say the least, that her people don’t go beyond the reef surrounding their island,” adds director John Musker. “They stay within the confines of that reef, and Moana doesn’t really understand why.”
The story is inspired in part by the oral histories of the people and cultures of Oceania. Three thousand years ago, Polynesian voyagers, the greatest navigators in the world, voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering thousands of islands. But then, according to scholars, for approximately a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows exactly why. “Navigation is such a big part of Pacific culture,” says Musker. “The ancient Polynesians found their way across the seas without the use of modern instruments, using their knowledge of nature, the stars, the waves and the currents.” Adds Clements, “We heard many times that the ocean doesn’t separate the islands, it connects them. Voyaging is a real source of pride for Pacific Islanders, a part of their identity. They were, and continue to be, some of the greatest explorers of all time. What they did was quite sophisticated, borderline miraculous.” There are many theories, but no one is certain, about what may have led to this 1,000- year gap in exploration; this sparked the filmmakers’ imaginations. Says Musker, “In our story, our heroine, Moana, is at the heart of the rebirth of wayfinding.” During her journey, Moana meets the mighty demigod Maui, a larger-than-life character who was inspired by multitudes of varied tales and legends about him throughout the Oceania region. Says Musker, “We were fascinated by the stories we read, the tales told to us by experts in the region. Maui was larger-than-life, a trickster and a shapeshifter. He could pull up whole islands from the sea with his fishhook; he had the power to slow down the sun. He is an incredible figure.”
Maui, who’s on his own journey of self-discovery, reluctantly guides Moana in her quest to become a master wayfinder and save her people. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. “It’s a story that takes place many, many years ago, but with a contemporary feel,” says producer Osnat Shurer. “Our hope as filmmakers has been to create a universal story that is also an homage to the beautiful people of the Pacific Islands who inspired us along this journey.”
The ocean is calling, and now here’s your first look at the newest sneak peek from Disney’s Moana:
Disney’s 56th animated film, Moana as it gets ready to sail across the Pacific and into our hearts on November 23.
Disney’s Moana will be Disney’s first Pacific Islander princess and will feature the voice talents of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a mighty demi-god and introducing Auli’i Cravalho who stars a Moana, the young teenage girl who bravely sails across the Pacific Ocean to “complete her ancestors’ quest.
The legend of Moana brings to life the story from 3,000 years ago when the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast South Pacific. Their voyages suddenly stopped and no one knew exactly why.
Enter Moana (the Hawaiian and Maori word for “ocean”) who decides to sail across the Pacific Ocean to finish what her ancestors started. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will voice the Demi-God Maui, who, according to Polynesian culture, founded all eight Hawaiian Islands.
His character teams up with Princess Moana on her journey. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.
Meet The Cast of Disney’s Moana:
Moana: AULI‘I CRAVALHO lends her voice to the title character, MOANA, a teenager who dreams of becoming a master wayfinder.
Maui: DWAYNE JOHNSON (HBO’s “Ballers,” “Central Intelligence”) voices MAUI—half god, half mortal, all awesome.
Tui & Sina: TEMUERA MORRISON (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Once Were Warriors,” “Six Days, Seven Nights”) voices Moana’s father, CHIEF TUI, the gregarious and well-respected leader of the people of Motunui Island. NICOLE SCHERZINGER (Grammy®-nominated singer, West End’s “Cats”) voices Moana’s mother, SINA, who always has her daughter’s back. Playful, sharp and strong-willed, Sina appreciates Moana’s longing to be on the water, but also wants to protect her daughter from the fabled dangers beyond the reef.
Gramma Tala: RACHEL HOUSE (“Whale Rider,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”) voices GRAMMA TALA, Moana’s confidante and best friend, who shares her granddaughter’s special connection to the ocean.
Pua: PUA is Moana’s loyal pet pig with puppy energy and an innocent puppy brain.
Heihei: ALAN TUDYK, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ lucky charm (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Big Hero 6”), is behind the voice of HEIHEI, a dumb rooster who accidently stows away on Moana’s canoe.
Tamatoa: JEMAINE CLEMENT (“The BFG,” “Despicable Me,” “Rio,” “Rio 2,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” Flight of the Conchords) provides the voice of TAMATOA, a self-absorbed, 50-foot crab who lives in Lalotai, the realm of monsters.
Kakamora: The KAKAMORA, an intense team of crazy, coconut-armored pirates who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Set sail for Disney’s Moana:
Moana is produced by Osnat Shurer and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Clements and Musker have been responsible for bringing to life some of the most memorable Disney movies of all time including their collaboration directing The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and most recently, The Princess and the Frog.
The ocean is calling… Light The Torch…Find Your Way…Dive Right In…
Moana sails into theaters November 23
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