Kamehameha Schools Kapālama sophomore Auli‘i Cravalho has been cast in the Walt Disney Animation Studios movie, “Moana,” to be the voice of the title character.
With hundreds auditioning for the part, across the Pacific islands, Cravalho was invited to audition after the film’s casting director remembered the Mililani native from an unrelated audition Cravalho had done prior.
“Her audition was fantastic – she was such a raw talent,” said the film’s producer Osnat Shurer. “Auliʻi 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.”
“Auliʻi 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 computer generated-animated adventure about a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, facing enormous fiery creatures against impossible odds.
“It is a responsibility, but this movie, even though it’s still being developed, is amazing for both young girls and boys,” Cravalho said. “It really embodies how important it is to go after your dream. And although there may be some trials and some hardships along the way, you have to keep focused on your goal. That is what Moana does and it is an amazing journey she goes on.”
The setting for Moana is in the South Pacific islands, where the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the Pacific Ocean for thousands of years, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knew why. Moana, with the help of Maui, looks to return to their ancestral ways.
“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 some of the recordings for the role. Disney will work around her KS school schedule to do most of the recordings, allowing the sophomore to continue her school work at the Kapālama campus during the school year.
“I go to Kamehameha Schools,” added Cravalho. “And I’m a part of Concert Glee now, and that’s a lot of responsibility in itself. It’s really fun to be able to sing with my peers that also love the culture so much. We sing Hawaiian songs and hymns. Overall, it’s really a great place to be.”
“Moana” is scheduled to sail into United States theatres on November 23, 2016.