Music was a huge part of making Moana great, and none of that would have been accomplished without the collaboration of Grammy-award winner Opetaia Foa’i, Disney alum Mark Mancina, and (soon to be) EGOT Lin-Manuel Miranda. Each one of them brought in their own personalities to the film, with Foa’i bringing the music of the Polynesian culture, Mancina with his Disney experience, and Miranda, who really needs no reference unless you haven’t heard of the Tony Award-winning Hamilton. The songs are a celebration of culture and finding one’s identity, and they are so much fun that they don’t feel overly preachy.
We were recently invited to sit down with our fellow journalists to talk to Miranda and Foa’i about the music of Disney Moana, their inspiration, working together, and discovering Dwayne Johnson’s vocal range. Check out all of that below.
Dwyane Johnson stars as Maui, a boisterous demi-god who is a trickster and can morph into any animal he chooses, in Disney’s latest animated feature Moana. While the character can let some of his godly acts and heroism feed his ego, it is Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho), the 16-year-old daughter of a chief, who teaches him a lesson in modesty and helps him find his lost identity as she searches for her own. Together, they voyage across the ocean to return the Heart of Tefiti to its rightful place in hopes that it will restore all life to what it once was.
We were recently invited to sit down with fellow journalists at the press conference for the film, where Johnson and Cravalho talked about bringing the spirit of Aloha to Moana and what it meant for them to share their Polynesian culture with the world. Check out what they had to say below.
Moana Director: Ron Clements and John Musker Screenwriter: Jared Bush Cast: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Scherzinger, Rachel House, Jemaine Clement Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Rated PG | 113 minutes Release Date: November 23, 2016
These are trying times. With an unknown future ahead of us, there is no doubt in my mind that we will need more movies like Moana. Not in terms of just needing more animated features, even though I really do love those, but in terms of delivering a powerful message of searching for identity, female empowerment, never forgetting where you come from, and remembering that not only do princesses come in just more than one color and they too can do a man’s job as well.
Moana reminds us just how far Disney Animation has come, and with a great voice cast and some catchy tunes, it will be a film that is recognized for more than just its animation, but also for celebrating and honoring a culture. Just don’t forget to bring idiotic chicken along with you, because they are good for more than just a few laughs. My full review below.
Back in September, we shared what we learned from watching an early preview of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana. John Musker and Ron Clements return to collaborate for their seventh film together, and their first CGI film which follows the title character as she goes on a journey of self-discovery and saving her people. A five-year long process in development, the movie will be released in theaters in just a few short weeks, and now we can give you our final piece from that presentation that we were invited to (along with our fellow journalists) back in August.
In this exclusive one-on-one interview, we talk to Moana writers Jared Bush and Dave Pimentel about collaborating with the Oceanic Story Trust to develop the story, finding out what a movie wants to say, avoiding being too preachy, the 12 screening process, and much more. Check out the full interview below.
Based on our coverage of Moana, we know that Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) is a rather arrogant demi-god who needs a lesson in humility. Enter Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho), a natural born navigator who is on a quest to save her native home island of Motonui.
It will be very interesting to see how a young teenager will put up with someone who is as obnoxious and confident as Maui, and we start to see just a little bit of the chemistry between the two in two new clips from the film. One which will showcase Johnson’s talents as a singer, and the other when the two meet each other for the first time. Check it out below.