In an article with People Magazine, Walt Disney Animation Studios announced this morning that fourteen-year old, and Hawaiian native, Auli’i Carvalho has been cast as the titular character in their November 2016 action-adventure Moana! The news came with a video giving audiences our first introduction to Auli’i Carvalho, how she got the gig, and also our first official look at Moana and her not-so-sidekick Maui, voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Check out the official casting announcement after the break!
Official Film Synopsis:
Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast South Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one today knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-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, she meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.
The prospect of having a newcomer like Auli’i is very exciting. Considering what kind of talent voicing a Disney princess can draw, it's very telling of the studio's and especially directors Ron Clements and John Musker's character to choose an unknown to voice the main character of the next big Disney animated musical. It is the complete dedication to their craft and fantastic talent that has proven very successful with the past several Disney animated films both in box office revenue and in critical response. Moana looks to be yet another huge win for Walt Disney Animation Studios, and we are still over a year away from the film's November 23rd, 2016 release!