It’s been a great year for Walt Disney Animation already, with the critically acclaimed Zootopia opening to rave reviews and climbing the box office charts to become the second-biggest original movie of all time. But the studio isn’t finished yet, and November will see the release of Moana, a thrilling new adventure about a young princess from the Pacific Islands who embarks on a life-changing journey.
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the masterminds behind such Disney classics as Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, the film already boasts the voice talents of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the musical genius of Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. But earlier today, Disney pulled back the curtain to introduce us to the full cast of characters, and the performers that will bring them to life.
Moana (Auli‘i Cravalho)
A teenager who dreams of becoming a master wayfarer.
Maui (Dwayne Johnson)
Half god, half mortal, and all awesome.
Tamatoa (Jermaine Clement)
A self-absorbed, 50-foot crab who lives in Lalotai, the realm of monsters. The conceited crustacean wants to be more than a “bottom feeder” and overcompensates for this perceived shortcoming by covering himself in all things shiny.
Gramma Tala (Rachel House)
Moana’s confidante and best friend, who shares her granddaughter’s special connection to the ocean. Although her son Tui, the chief of Motunui, is a no-nonsense leader, Gramma Tala most definitely dances to the beat of her own drum.
Chief Tui (Temuera Morrison)
The gregarious and well-respected leader of the people of Motunui Island, Chief Tui wants Moana to follow in his footsteps as leader of their people, but fears his daughter’s draw to the ocean and the world that lies beyond their reef.
Sina (Nicole Scherzinger)
Playful, sharp and strong-willed, Sina appreciates Moana’s longing to be on the water, but also wants to protect her daughter from the fabled dangers beyond the reef.
Heihei (Alan Tudyk)
Heihei is one dumb rooster—the village idiot, in fact. When the clueless chicken accidently stows away on Moana’s canoe, he lands a front-row seat for her epic journey.
An intense team of crazy, coconut-armored pirates who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Moana’s loyal pet pig with puppy energy and an innocent puppy brain.
I’m really loving the character designs here, and I’m impressed with the cast Disney has assembled for this new film. I was lucky enough to be in the audience at last year’s D23 Expo when the first footage from Moana was revealed, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting it ever since that day.
Luckily, we don’t have much longer to wait: Moana is slated to hit theaters on November 23.
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