Disney Casts Native Hawaiian as the Voice of New Animated Heroine 'Moana'

MOANA- H 2015
Courtesy of Walt Disney Animation

The movie sails into theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.

Native Hawaiian newcomer Auli’i Cravalho has been cast as the voice of Disney’s newest animated heroine, Moana.

Disney auditioned hundreds of people from the Pacific Islands but settled on the 14-year-old high school sophomore. Cravalho has already begun voice recording for the role.

"Auli’i demonstrated a certain fearlessness in her auditions and call-backs," said Moana co-director John Musker. "She has a playful, mischievous wit."

The Walt Disney Animation Studios’ film will follow the story of the spirited teenager who sails away on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and along the way finds adventure and the once mighty demi-god Maui. 

Dwayne Johnson will be voicing the divine entity. 

Of the unique opportunity, Cravalho said: "When I was little, I used to dance around the house singing at the top of my lungs. But I never imagined being in a Disney movie, being Moana — representing my culture in that way."

The movie sails into theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.