It’s been a long journey, but Disney Animation has officially found its newest princess and has finally revealed who will play her in the highly anticipated animated feature, Moana, set to open in theaters next Thanksgiving.
Earlier this year, the studio started an open casting call for young talent who could potentially voice the newest princess, and hundreds of talented girls from the Pacific Islands auditioned for the part. 14-year-old native Hawaiian Auliíi Cravalho was the last one to audition but ultimately got the part.
“I was getting through my freshman year, and there were already so many great submissions over YouTube,” Auliíi said to People Magazine, which will feature an exclusive first look at the film in this week’s issue. Luckily for her though, an Oahu casting agent discovered her through a charity competition where she was performing. She was the last girl who auditioned, but ultimately the one who was cast by the film’s directors Ron Clements and John Musker.
“Moana is such an amazing character,” Cravalho continues to say. “She’s brave, she is so empowered, she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to get it, and I think that’s something that I can relate to as well. I just love watching how she goes along in this wonderful movie and grows as a person and helps her culture along the way.”
Cravalho continues to talk about collaborating with Dwayne Johnson, who stars opposite her.
“I am very excited about that, my gosh, I’ve never heard him sing before so it’s going to be really interesting!”
For more Moana, pick up the newest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands this Friday!
”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 opens in theaters November 23, 2016.
What do you think of this newest addition to the Moana voice-cast? Are you excited for the movie?
Edited by: Kelly Conley