**I received an all expense paid trip thanks to Disney. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources. Photo credit given to Disney and Louise from MomStart.com.
Did you all see this video of how Auli’i Cravalho was when she found out when she got the part to voice Moana?
The film’s Hawai’i casting director remembered an unrelated audition Cravalho did as part of an a cappella group, which had been submitted for a talent showcase for a charity. Feeling the local teen would be perfect for the Disney role, she tracked her and her mother down and invited Cravalho to audition. “Her audition was fantastic – she was such a raw talent,” said producer Osnat Shurer. “Auli’i was among a small number of girls we brought back for a second round of auditions. Then we flew her and her mom over to audition at our studios in Burbank.”
“Auli’i demonstrated a certain fearlessness in her auditions and call-backs,” said director John Musker. “She has a playful, mischievous wit. She can project vulnerability, she doesn’t seem intimidated at all by the challenges ahead, and her Polynesian background has helped shape her connection to family, hard work and music. These are all qualities she shares with Moana.”
“Moana is a vibrant, tenacious 16-year-old growing up on an island where voyaging is forbidden,” added director Ron Clements. “But Moana has been drawn to the ocean since she can remember and is desperate to find out what’s beyond the confines of her island.
We had the chance to interview this poised newcomer Auli’i Cravalho last week and it was such a beautiful interview. If you have never heard of her before, do not fret because this is just the beginning of her amazing career. She is so TALENTED and a truly beautiful person inside and out. She also looks and acts similar to her 15 year old counterpart Moana in this film. She is the true definition of beauty and a role model for all children out there. If my daughter becomes half as poised and confident as Auli’i Cravalho is, I know I have done a great job raising her. She gives us the definition of girl power to the nth degree and showcases that all children must believe in themselves.
MY INTERVIEW WITH Auli’i Cravalho:
She told us she was called into another audition where she needed to do a bit more ad lib. She was then flown to LA to do some recording. It was the first time she ever recorded in front of people. She told us she loved it and she had her aunt there to support her.
“And I did more adlib and they were like, “You know, could you say it a little bit more happy, like for instance if we gave you the role, how would you react?” And I was like, “Okay! Wow!” I gave forth my best shot. And that’s when they told me I was gonna be in MOANA. I was crying and I was so happy. And just thrilled that, first of all, they thought that I was like worthy enough for this role. I didn’t think that I was. I could never imagine in my wildest dreams that I would be voicing this character. But I was just so happy and blessed. And then I told my mom. And then I had another cry fest. So. It was really good.”
Question 2: I loved seeing the Polynesian culture play out in this film, it was so infused and beautiful. How does it feel for you and how do you think everyone’s going to react to it?
She told us she was a bit wary when she was put on this role.
“I think anyone who hears that a movie’s going to inspired by their culture, they want it to be done right. And we don’t want any misrepresentation, we want to make sure that what we feel our culture’s represented and that it’s portrayed correctly on the screen. And that was how I felt. The little details, even just listening to the palm trees swaying in the background, that they got all of that. Because that’s what it’s about, it’s in the fine details that just make up the large production which makes it that much more special.” that much more special.
Question 3: Before you started on the film how much Polynesian mythology did you know?
She told us she knew about Maui’s mythology and the folklore of it because it was told as her bedtime story which includes the story of him pulling oceans out of the sea or slowing down the sun.
“I go to an all Hawaiian school. So even voyaging across the open ocean, it’s something that we find pride in. And it’s pretty connected into our curriculum.”
Question 4: What is your message you want children to take out of this movie?
“I think the underlying theme of MOANA is something everyone can take away. Yes, young women but also young men who are going to go into this era and be the old heroes and heroines of their own story. It’s so important. I’m 15, going on 16, and you know, I’ve found that I can live up to MOANA. And that she’s a true heroine. And that she’s determined and beautiful. But being strong doesn’t mean that you don’t have your weaker moments, you can’t be as connected emotionally either. Moana is all of that, and I think her journey of finding herself is something that everyone can take away from, girl or boy.”
I loved her answer on this. Such a strong and powerful message I hope my own children take out of this movie.
She told us that all is pretty incredible. She mentioned that they are both the same age and she is really proud of the character that Disney has portrayed on the screen.”
“Not only will people look up to her but people will begin looking up to me. That’s something I can’t quite wrap my mind around just yet. I guess I have a 15 year old who has so much more to learn. And I have so much more to grow. I just am really excited for everyone to see her on screen because I find her someone that I look up to.”
Question 6: Did you notice any of your personal mannerisms or characteristics making their way into the animation?
“I have just learned not to touch my hair when I move it. But that’s something that Moana does. Also the recording process, I won’t be able to touch my hair or my flower. You’ll see at some point, when work needs to get done, Moana puts her hair up. Which is something that I do a lot in the booth. She smiles a lot, which is something I don’t quite do often. There is some mannerisms in there. And of course she was actually designed before I had even stepped in there. So the fact that she kinda looks like me is kind of uncanny. And now that she shares my voice.”
Question 7: What were your thoughts when you saw it all come together?
She told us she was really blown away. She has seen it in chalked up stages of animation but to see it fully complete was amazing and to see the faces of all the characters. She also told us her own mom has a line in the movie and it was really neat to see that!
Question 8: In the film Moana’s grandmother has a scene where she has a sting ray tattoo. If Moana would have a tattoo, what tattoo do you think she would wear?
She told us it would be the Polynesian tattoo that is seen in the movie, which she told us, is very painful.
“So I think if anything, Moana is brave enough and secure enough in her own sense, to know that if she was to get anything permanent, she would make sure that it connected her to her family and to her island.”
Question 9: What advice do you have for kids trying to find their way?
“When I was thinking about show business and I was thinking about the thought of Hollywood, I was like, I need to do this. Now I’m gonna be serious about it. And I’m not gonna even set my hopes too high. And so I focused myself on schooling. Which is really important. Don’t get me wrong, I focused on science and I was planning on continuing my career there. And when MOANA popped up, it was in my freshman year of high school. And I remember thinking okay, I sing pretty well.”
“I’m an okay actress. I mean, my backyard plays are directed and produced by me.] I didn’t know how I would add up to my competition. I had seen wonderful auditions on YouTube. And I put myself down. I thought, you know what, it’s fine. What could I possibly give that the directors haven’t already seen? And I thought to myself, why don’t I just try?”
“I was totally twisting that around in the way that she wouldn’t want me to. And I think she was away at work. And I was at school. And I thought to myself, I want to make her proud. And so when I had the art lesson, the first like audition in Hawaii, she said “I’m so proud of you”.
“I was like, I haven’t even done anything. I’m not even solid on these lines, do I know all the words to my song. But she was still so proud of me. And so that’s what encouraged me to continue on my journey. And I hope that anyone else just goes out on that limb because they don’t know what life has in store for them. And please don’t put yourself down. Because there is so much more potential than you even know.”
Question 10: How has that changed? How has your normal life changed since then?
“It hasn’t changed too much. I’m really grateful for that. I’m still doing my homework. I’ve actually started a schedule where I can call my friends. And speak with them because I realized that I missed the camaraderie of my classmates. And I’ve always been a pretty self directed learner. But I realize that just the little things that I took for granted, are certainly things that I miss. So I’ve just decided to balance things. Whether it’s calling them or texting, whatever it may be. It’s finding a balance.”
Question 11: What has been the biggest challenge or something during the film process?
“I had a definite learning curve. I think that was certainly a challenge. Like I said, backyard plays were my thing. I didn’t know how to kind of work in a booth. For one it was cold. I don’t like being cold, I get cranky when I’m cold. I didn’t have anyone to bounce off of. I wasn’t rubbing elbows with Dwayne Johnson like I thought I would be in the booth. I did have a writer though, Jared Bush. And he really helped me throughout the entire process. Because it was all new to me.”
“And the directors as well. They made me feel right at home. They understood that this is your first time doing this. But that’s what we want. And I think that’s also something that makes Moana relatable, that I’m not a seasoned professional. But I think the emotion that I bring to her is something that is very true. And I was able to connect to Moana on a deeper level as well. So though the learning curve was there and the challenges there, I think I overcame it pretty well.
Question 12: What kind of training did you have?
She told us she had a motor coach and a voice coach. Before that she was in the choir of her school and didn’t have much formal training.
She was EXCELLENT voicing Moana! I really can’t wait for you all to see it this Thanksgiving!
BE SURE TO SEE MOANA AND INNER WORKINGS IN THEATERS NOVEMBER 23rd!