The latest Disney princess movie doesn’t hit theaters until Nov. 23, but here’s what we know about the film so far.
1. The movie takes place 2,000 years ago, and follows title character Moana and the once-mighty demigod Maui as they embark on an epic ocean adventure.
2. Speaking of the ocean: In the film, the Pacific Ocean is actually presented as a friend of Moana’s, with which she interacts. Apparently, while visiting the South Pacific for research, the filmmakers saw that people spoke of the ocean like it was a “person or a friend,” which influenced the decision to make the ocean a character in its own right in the movie.
3. Auli’i Cravalho is the youngest actress ever to voice a Disney princess, as she was only 14 when she recorded her role as Moana.
4. Moana doesn’t have a romantic interest. Instead, the film focuses on her family, and her journey to find her own inner voice.
4. Moana is the daughter of a chief who has limited how far islanders are allowed to travel out into the ocean. So her epic journey with Maui seems to contradict her father’s wishes.
5. Although most of us usually associate Maui with the Hawaiian island, he’s actually a Polynesian demigod. In fact, the character of Maui in “Moana” is based on a combination of multiple mythologies from different islands, including Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti, French Polynesia and New Zealand.
6. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson provides the voice of Maui.
7. Oh, and Maui has his own musical number, meaning that we’ll get to hear Dwayne singing in the movie!
8. The team working on the movie’s soundtrack includes “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina (who worked on “The Lion King”) and Samoan musician Opetaia Foa’i.
9. Moana is sixteen years old during the majority of the film.
10. She’s the daughter of chief Tui, who’s the leader of of Motunui Island.
11. Chief Tui wants his daughter to follow in his footsteps and become the next chief, but Moana wants to be a voyager like her ancestors.
12. Moana’s father is voiced by Temuera Morrison, while her mother Sina is voiced by former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger.
13. Moana’s grandmother plays an important part in Moana’s need to explore the ocean. It’s Grandma Tala (voiced by Rachel House) who tells Moana about the legend of the heart of Tahiti.
14. Amy Smeed is co-head of animation for “Moana” and she is the first woman to hold that title!
15.The majority of the movie was computer-generated, except for Maui’s moving tattoos, which were hand drawn.
16. One of Maui’s tattoos is named “Mini-Maui” and has the ability to move around on his body.
17. Two of the main characters in the movie don’t speak. They are Pua, Moana’s pet pig, and HeiHei, a clueless rooster that accidentally stows away on Moana’s canoe and ends up accompanying Moana and Maui on their journey.
18. The theatrical release of “Moana” will be accompanied by an all-new, six-and-a-half-minute-long short film called “Inner Workings” that explores the concept of mixing work and pleasure.