Posted October 14, 2015 by LJ Zenarosa in Movies/TV

Disney’s MOANA Finds Her Voice

 14-Year-Old Native Hawaiian Newcomer Auli’i Cravalho Cast as the Voice of Film’s Title Character.

 BURBANK, Calif. (Oct. 7, 2015) – 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.

AuliiCravalho 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.


Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 30, 2016, “Moana” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Disney in the Philippines, namely, (FB) WaltDisneyStudiosPH, (Twitter) @disneystudiosph and (Instagram) @waltdisneystudiosph. #MoanaPH

LJ Zenarosa

Nurse by day but a geek 24/7. Cat Lady who loves wrestling. And can eat lots of sweets -- like a LOT.