The release of Walt Disney Animation’s Moana is rapidly approaching and besides some basic story details and the actors who will portray the film’s main characters, Moana and Maui, we didn’t know much about the voice talent that would be part of the film. Today however, USA Today announced the entire main voice cast for the film and revealed some new story details.
Moana (Auli’i Cravalho)
We’ve already learned quite a bit about Moana in the past few months, but Auli’i talked about her character with USA Today. She hopes that fans of the film will call Moana a heroine instead of a princess and said her character is really courageous and beautiful as well.
Director John Musker reveals that quite a lot of Auli’i’s own quirks have been put into Moana. “I tend to talk a lot — and talk quickly — so there’ll be a little bit of rambling in some scenes,” Cravalho told USA Today. “And she touches her hair a lot, and I do that when I’m nervous.”
Maui (Dwayne Johnson)
Maui is a shapeshifting demigod who definitely needs some convincing to join Moana on her raft and be part of the adventure. He was marooned on an island for a millennium and lost his magical fish hook.
Dwayne Johnson, the voice of Maui, says Maui is confident, boundlessly accomplished, and used to being the center of attention. “He’s also extremely selfish and lives for only the most important person in his life: himself,” Johnson said. “I’ve never played a character with this kind of personality and deep-down heartbreak.”.
Pua is Moana’s best friend and companion. Even though he doesn’t have a voice he joins her on every journey. “While the rest of the island is hesitant for Moana to sail and think she’s kind of crazy to go into the ocean, Pua — aside from being a pig who’s unable to tell her she’s crazy — joins Moana on every journey she goes on,” Cravalho said.
Heihei (Alan Tudyk)
Heihei also joins Moana on her journey. Even though he doesn’t speak Alan Tudyk cam up with his own sound for the character. While Heihei is more anthropomorphic than the other animals in the film, “he may be stupider than most chickens you have met,” director Ron Clements says.
Chief Tui and Sina (Temuera Morrison & Nicole Scherzinger)
Chief Tui is Moana’s overprotective father who doesn’t understand why his daughter wants to go out and explore the sea, “He’s seen bad things happen because of this imbalance of man and nature, so he wants everybody to stay inside,” Clements says. Moana’s mother, Sina, is more sympathetic for her daughter’s desires, “She’s very warm and supportive of her daughter, but she’s trying to negotiate the difference between the two of them and be this peacemaker,” he says.
Gramma Tala (Rachel House)
Gramma Tala is Moana’s grandmother who shares her granddaughter’s obsession over the sea. “Tala is kind of the village crazy lady,” Clements said. “She has a close relationship with Moana, closer really than her parents in some ways.” The elder woman also recognizes the bigger problems facing her people, “so she really helps propel Moana on her journey to solve these things,” Musker says.
Tamatoa (Jemaine Clement)
Tamatoa is a villainous yet also comical 50-foot crab from Lalotai, the realm of monsters. Maui and Tamatoa have a history. Tamaota is in possession of Maui’s magical fish hook, which he desperately wants to get back. Tamatoa also has a big musical number in the film and a deadpan sense of humor. The directors revealed that Clement is a wonderful improviser, so they encouraged him to do his thing.
Moana is directed by legendary Disney directors Ron Clements and John Musker and produced by Osnat Shrurer from a script by Jared Bush, Ron Clements, John Musker, Pamela Ribon, and Taika Waititi. The film’s music is written by Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film features the voice talents of newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as Moana and Dwayne Johnson has her demigod companion, Maui.
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.
Disney’s Moana soars into theaters on November 23, 2016.
What do you think of these images and the voice cast? Are you excited for Moana?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes