Walt Disney Animation Studios has cast native Hawaiian, Auli’i Cravalho, 14, in the lead role in “MOANA.” This talented teen was chosen from hundreds of gifted actors who auditioned for the role opposite Dwayne Johnson. She has enjoyed singing and dancing since she was a small child, but this high school sophomore never imagined she’d be cast in a Disney movie.
Auli’i Cravalho was pursued by the Disney Company after an audition she submitted to a talent showcase caught the eye of the film’s Hawaiian casting director. After tracking down the youth, she was invited 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.”
Cravalho has already started recording for the role which will be released in theaters for Thanksgiving 2016.
Casting Moana – Introducing Auli’i Cravalho – Walt Disney Studios
About Walt Disney Animation’s MOANA
This new film is about a spirited and fearless teenager named Moana (voiced by Cravalho) who is aided by demi-god Maui (voiced by Johnson). She sets out to prove herself on a forbidden voyage – she’s been desperate to find out what lives beyond the confines of her island. Directed by the celebrated filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), and produced by Osnat Shurer(“Lifted,” “One Man Band”).