The Casting of Moana: A Tale of Cultural Representation and Raw Talent
In August 2015, it was announced during the D23 Expo that Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson would be the voice of Maui, the demi-god in the new Walt Disney Animation Studio movie, MOANA. Since then, fans anxiously awaited more news about the film’s casting. Today, we bring you the story of how Disney found the voice of Moana, its title character, through a worldwide search.
Finding the Voice of Moana: Auli’i Cravalho
In the animated adventure about a spirited and fearless teenager named Moana, Native Hawaiian newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, 14, joined Dwayne Johnson in a big-screen journey. Moana, voiced by Cravalho, with help from demi-god Maui (voice of Johnson), sets out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder. Here, we have all the details of this casting process, including images and a video of Auli’i finding out she got the part!
Auli’i Cravalho’s Journey to Becoming Moana
Despite hundreds of talented individuals across the Pacific Islands eager to audition for the role, Cravalho had her sights set on her sophomore year of high school. “I didn’t think I would have a chance,” she confessed. From a young age, Cravalho embraced performing, dancing and singing around her house. However, she could never have imagined landing a role in a Disney movie, let alone being Moana and representing her culture in such a significant way.
Luckily, an unrelated audition Cravalho did as part of an a cappella group caught the attention of the film’s Hawai’i casting director. Recognizing something special in the local teen, she tracked down Cravalho and her mother, inviting Cravalho to audition for the Disney role. After a fantastic audition and a second round of auditions, Cravalho and her mother were flown over to the Disney studios in Burbank for the final round.
The Directors’ Perspective on the Casting of Moana
Director John Musker noted, “Auli’i demonstrated a certain fearlessness in her auditions and call-backs. 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.”
Director Ron Clements added, “Moana is a vibrant, tenacious 16-year-old growing up on an island where voyaging is forbidden. 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.”
With the directors’ approval, Cravalho started recording for the role, marking a milestone in the casting of Moana.
The Casting of Moana: A Celebration of Cultural Representation
The casting of Moana was not just about finding the right voice; it was about cultural representation. By casting Cravalho, a native Hawaiian, Disney showcased its dedication to authenticity and cultural respect. The casting process highlighted the importance of representation in the media, proving that everyone, regardless of their background, deserves to see themselves represented on the big screen.
The casting of Moana sailed into theaters on November 23rd, 2016, with Auli’i Cravalho bringing life to the titular character. The journey of finding the voice of Moana was a tale of raw talent, cultural representation, and the power of dreams. It’s a testament to the magic that can happen when a young girl dares to dream big and a global company commits to cultural authenticity. So, like MOANA on Facebook and immerse yourself in the captivating tale of Moana, a young wayfinder who sets sail on a daring mission.
|A vibrant, tenacious 16-year-old growing up on an island where voyaging is forbidden. She has been drawn to the ocean since she can remember and is desperate to find out what’s beyond the confines of her island.
|Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson
|A demi-god who helps Moana on her daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder.
Moana’s Cultural Significance
Moana was not just another animated Disney film. It was a cultural milestone, highlighting the Polynesian culture and history in a way that was both respectful and authentic. The casting of Moana, particularly the choice of Auli’i Cravalho, was a testament to Disney’s commitment to cultural representation. Cravalho, a native Hawaiian, not only brought her vocal talent to the role but also her cultural heritage, which added a layer of authenticity to the character of Moana.
Dwayne Johnson’s Involvement in Moana
When Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, was announced as the voice of Maui, fans were ecstatic. Johnson, who is of Samoan descent, was an ideal choice for the role of the demi-god Maui. His Polynesian heritage, coupled with his charismatic personality, brought the character to life in a way few others could. Johnson’s involvement in Moana not only added star power to the film but also furthered its authenticity and cultural representation.
The Impact of Moana’s Casting on Hollywood
The casting of Moana had a profound impact on Hollywood and the film industry. It challenged the status quo and proved that there is a demand for diverse representation in films. The success of Moana showed that audiences are eager to see stories from different cultures and backgrounds. This shift towards inclusivity has prompted other film studios to follow suit, leading to a more diverse and representative film industry.
The Role of Music in Moana
Another critical element in the casting of Moana was the music. The film’s soundtrack, composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina, is deeply rooted in Polynesian culture. Cravalho’s musical talent shone in the film, with her powerful voice carrying the film’s hit song “How Far I’ll Go.” Music played an essential role in the film’s cultural representation and was a significant factor in the casting process.
The Legacy of Moana’s Casting
The casting of Moana has left a lasting legacy. It has set a precedent for future Disney films and the wider film industry regarding cultural representation. Auli’i Cravalho’s journey from a high school student to the voice of Moana is an inspiring story of raw talent and dreams coming true. It serves as a reminder that representation matters and that everyone, regardless of their background, deserves to see themselves on the big screen.
FAQs about the Casting of Moana
Q: Who voiced Moana?
A: Auli’i Cravalho, a native Hawaiian, was the voice of Moana.
Q: Who voiced Maui in Moana?
A: Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock, voiced Maui in Moana.
Q: Why was the casting of Moana significant?
A: The casting of Moana was significant because it showcased Disney’s commitment to cultural representation and authenticity. The casting of native Hawaiian Auli’i Cravalho as Moana and Samoan descendant Dwayne Johnson as Maui added a layer of authenticity to the film.
Q: What was the impact of Moana’s casting on Hollywood?
A: The casting of Moana had a profound impact on Hollywood, proving that there is a demand for diverse representation in films and prompting other film studios to follow suit.
Q: What role did music play in Moana?
A: Music played a crucial role in Moana, with the film’s soundtrack deeply rooted in Polynesian culture. Auli’i Cravalho’s musical talent was a significant factor in her casting as Moana.
1. Who voiced the character of Moana in the Disney movie?
Auli’i Cravalho, a Native Hawaiian newcomer, voiced the character of Moana in the Disney movie.
2. How was Auli’i Cravalho discovered for the role of Moana?
Auli’i Cravalho was discovered during an unrelated audition she did as part of an a cappella group. Her performance caught the attention of the film’s Hawai’i casting director who subsequently invited her to audition for the Disney role.
3. What qualities did the directors find in Auli’i Cravalho that were in sync with the character of Moana?
Directors John Musker and Ron Clements noted that Auli’i Cravalho demonstrated a certain fearlessness, a playful, mischievous wit, and the ability to project vulnerability. Her Polynesian background helped shape her connection to family, hard work, and music, all qualities she shared with Moana.
4. Why was the casting of Moana significant in terms of cultural representation?
The casting of Moana was significant because it showcased Disney’s dedication to authenticity and cultural respect. By casting Cravalho, a native Hawaiian, the casting process highlighted the importance of representation in the media.
5. When was the movie Moana released?
The movie Moana was released in theaters on November 23rd, 2016.
6. Who voiced the character of the demi-god Maui in the movie Moana?
Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson voiced the character of the demi-god Maui in the movie Moana.
7. How did Auli’i Cravalho react to landing the role of Moana?
Auli’i Cravalho was surprised and excited to land the role of Moana. Despite her love for performing, she confessed that she didn’t think she would have a chance at landing a role in a Disney movie.
8. How old was Auli’i Cravalho when she was cast as Moana?
Auli’i Cravalho was 14 years old when she was cast as Moana.