Categorized | Business, Entertainment

Cravalho to reprise role in Hawaiian language version of Moana, additional cast members sought


Aulii Cravalho. Photo courtesy Disney.

Aulii Cravalho. Photo courtesy Disney.

The Annie Award-winning star of Walt Disney Animation Studios Moana, Native Hawaiian Auli‘i Cravalho, reprises her role as the titular character of the hit feature for the Hawaiian language version. Casting for additional roles within the Hawaiian language version, which is being created by the University of Hawai‘i in collaboration with The Walt Disney Studios, will begin in the next few weeks.

“I am so deeply proud of my Hawaiian roots,” Cravalho said. “To perform the role of Moana, acting and singing in the Hawaiian language, is so deeply humbling and exciting. I can’t wait to work with the talented language experts who will help bring this version to life.”

“We are so thrilled that we have the opportunity to make a Hawaiian version of the film, especially with the incredible Auli‘i,” Moana producer Osnat Shurer said. “To now make a Hawaiian language version, after recently collaborating on Tahitian and Te Reo Māori language versions, goes beyond any dreams we had for the film’s impact within communities that deeply inspired the movie.”

The University of HawaiÊ»i’s Academy for Creative Media System is funding and coordinating this collaborative project – with the goal of sharing the film for educational purposes in Hawai‘i and beyond.

“We could not be more excited to offer this unique educational opportunity for students and faculty from multiple UH campuses to work directly with the professionals at Disney Animation and HawaiÊ»i’s own AuliÊ»i Cravalho in bringing Moana to HawaiÊ»i in the Hawaiian language,” said Chris Lee, Founder and Director of the Academy for Creative Media System. “This extraordinary project would not be possible without collaboration between the various programs at UH.”

Managed by the Creative Media program at the University of HawaiÊ»i-West OÊ»ahu, faculty members from across the University of HawaiÊ»i system will collaborate on behalf of the project. Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, professor of Hawaiian Language and Executive Director of Awaiaulu, a nonprofit organization for Hawaiian-language translation training, will oversee a team of Awaiaulu’s translators; Hailiʻōpua Baker, Professor of Hawaiian Theatre at UH-Mānoa’s Theatre department will serve as acting director; Ethnomusicologist Aaron J. Salā will serve the project as Music Director; the film will be re-recorded in Hawaiian at Honolulu Community College’s MELE Studio and engineered by Jon Ross; collections specialist and producer for UHWO’s ‘UluÊ»ulu, HawaiÊ»i’s moving image archive Heather Giugni and Sharla Hanaoka, Director of Creative Media at UHWO, are producers of the Hawaiian language-version of Moana, in cooperation with Rick Dempsey, SVP Creative, for Disney Character Voices International.

“There are many great things to highlight about this collaboration,” UH West OÊ»ahu Chancellor Maenette Benham said. “The movie can be used as a language learning tool, it builds positive motivation and pride for all children and youth to know their cultural moÊ»olelo, and it speaks to the brilliant collaboration of our faculty and staff across the UH System.”

The Hawaiian version of Moana is anticipated to be distributed via the Hawai‘i State DOE to schools throughout the state as a Hawaiian language educational tool.

Casting will be overseen by Rachel Sutton. Fluent Hawaiian language speakers and singers should submit a photo, cell number and a link to a Vimeo or YouTube video of them singing/chanting in HAWAIIAN to Deadline for submissions is November 17, 2017. For more information visit

For centuries, the greatest sailors in the world masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, 3,000 years ago, their voyages stopped for a millennium – and no one knows exactly why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who is inspired to leave the safety and security of her island on a daring journey to save her people. Inexplicably drawn to the ocean, Moana (voice of Auliʻi Cravalho) convinces the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) to join her mission, and he reluctantly helps her become a wayfinder like her ancestors who sailed before her. Together, they voyage across the open ocean on an action-packed adventure, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moa na fulfills her quest and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Moana is directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), and features music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i.

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