Elsa and Anna have been dominating Christmas lists ever since Frozen hit cinemas in December 2013 but they may have to let their title go when Moana sails into cinemas next year.
Disney’s been working on the South Seas epic about a 16-year-old princess who’s destined to become the world’s greatest navigator for some time now, but they’ve finally found the girl they’ve been looking for and unleashed Moana’s voice upon the world.
Not before playing a prank on her though…
The CG-animated adventure is set three thousand years ago, during a time when sailors suddenly stopped exploring the mysterious and magical seas of Oceania. To this day, nobody knows why, but Moana’s on a mission to get beyond the great reef, prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors’ unfinished quest – even if her dad isn’t so keen on the idea.
“I didn’t think I would have a chance,” said 14-year-old Hawaiian native Auli’i Cravalho, who went up against girls from across the Pacific Islands for the title role. “When I was little, I used to dance around the house singing at the top of my lungs. In my mind, that was performing and I loved the feeling of it. But I never imagined being in a Disney movie, being Moana—representing my culture in that way.”
“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.”
And with the directors who brought us Hercules, The Little Mermaid and The Princess and The Frog at the helm, Moana is set to be a truly special movie.
We’ve already had a sneak peek at what they’ve been up to, and let’s just say the fiery creatures and impossible odds our heroine faces made us feel as though we can’t wait to be part of her world.