I’m looking forward to another family film hitting theaters soon! Coming this Thanksgiving is a tale of challenge, and adventure, and finding yourself. Walt Disney Animation Studios “Moana” stars the voices of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Maui and Auli’i Cravalho, also music by the amazingly talented Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others. And, I should probably be saving the Moana Teaser Trailer for Friday Night Movie Night, I can’t because it’s good.
Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many
islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why.
From the teaser trailer, Moana looks like another visually spectacular CG-animated film from Walt Disney Animation Studios! It left me wanting more and lately, many trailers seem to be lacking that effect on me. Maui had “The Rock” eyebrow and a dancing tattoo, and he turned into a bird, and I laugh every time I see him dance. Is it Thanksgiving yet?
Moana is about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.
Moana Teaser Trailer
Fun Facts about Moana
- Moana filmmakers auditioned hundreds of talented young women throughout the Pacific Islands before finding the gifted Native Hawaiian Auli’i Cravalho. She didn’t initially go after the role but, when the film’s casting director remembered her singing performance from a video submission for a fundraiser/talent showcase, he asked her to audition. Three auditions later and her first trip to Burbank, California earned her the title role! That’s raw talent, so don’t miss this film!
- When it comes to music, the diverse and dynamic team behind the Moana’s inspired music include Tony®-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “In the Heights”), Grammy®-winning composer Mark Mancina (“Speed,” “Tarzan” “The Lion King”) and Opetaia Foa’i (founder and lead singer of the world music award-winning band Te Vaka).
- Do you remember “The Great Mouse Detective” from 1986? Moana Directors Ron Clements and John Musker made their writing-directing debut on that film! They went on to write and direct some of Disney’s most beloved animated classics, including “The Little Mermaid” in 1989, “Aladdin” in 1992, “Hercules” in 1997, and “The Princess and the Frog” in 2009.
- Are you a fan of shorts? Moana Producer Osnat Shurer served as the EP of the “Shorts Group” at Pixar Animation Studios. That’s the group responsible for Pixar’s short films, and ALL DVD bonus materials. Some of the reasons we all buy those DVDs. While at Pixar, Shurer produced or executive produced a lot of hit shorts, including the Oscar®-nominated “Lifted” (2006), “One Man Band” (2005) and “Boundin’” (2003).
Speaking of shorts, “Inner Workings” is the new short hitting theaters before Moana, and tells the story of the internal struggle between a man’s pragmatic, logical side and his free-spirited, adventurous half. There is a lot of talent behind “Inner Workings” with first-time Director Leo Matsuda who was a story artist for “Big Hero 6,” “Zootopia” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” which are some of my families favorite films.
“Inner Workings” is Producer Sean Lurie, who joined Disney ten years ago as a producer at Disneytoon Studios. Lurie produced “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure,” got promoted to vice president of production in 2010 where he oversaw the production of films in the “Planes” and “Tinker Bell” franchises. Between then and now, he moved over to Walt Disney Animation Studios as vice president of development. There he served in studio leadership for “Big Hero 6” and “Zootopia”. Impressive resumes between the two and I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve created with “Inner Workings.”