Disney’s Princess Moana finds her voice


There’s a new Disney princess on the horizon.

Moana, the upcoming Disney animated film about a young teen in the Pacific Islands 2,000 years ago, has found a voice for its titular princess. 14-year-old Auli’i Cravalho of Oahu will play the part, Disney announced Wednesday.MOANA 3

The video explains that the filmmakers auditions hundreds of young women across the Pacific Islands before landing on Cravalho, who didn’t initially think she was good enough for the part.  “I didn’t think I would have a chance,” she said. “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,” she said in a news release.

“Moana is such an amazing character,”  Cravalho told People. “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 will be joining Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the cast. The Rock appeared on a panel about the film at Disney’s D23 convention earlier this year. He’ll be playing Maui, who he described as “born a human, raised by the gods. Never one or the other, Maui has always been stuck in the middle. Moana might be the person to find his true self.”

The half-black, half-Samoan actor also said, “To tell a story inspired by the South Pacific is truly a great honor.”

Moana is set to hit theaters Nov. 23, 2016. MOANA


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