20 Interesting Facts that I Learned About ‘Moana’ From the Cast and Crew.



20 Interesting Facts about Disney’s Moana. 

On Sunday, November 13, 2016, Disney invited We Live Entertainment to cover an international press conference for their newest animated adventure Moana. The film is now playing in theaters and is a must see for audiences of all ages. Moana tells the story of a 16-year old girl who is recruited by the ocean to track down a demigod named Maui, who can help her return the heart of Te Fiti and save her people.

Moana is the perfect mixture of Pacific Island folklore with classic Disney magic. The film is an inspirational story loaded with interesting characters, fantastic music, and a strong female lead. This film features a new type of Disney Princess that will hopefully inspire a whole new generation. Moana is destined to be another Disney classic.

Dwayne Johnson (Maui), Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Music), Opetaia Foa’i (Music), Osnat Shurer (Producer), Ron Clements (Director) and John Musker (Director) were all in attendance at the press conference. They talked a lot about the making of the film as well as how important it was to all of the cast and crew to accurately represent the Polynesian culture in the film. Everyone spoke about how the film took about five years to be brought to life as well as various research trips the crew went on to make sure they fully understood the culture from their music to their history.

When watching Moana, it is very obvious that a lot of love went into making this film. You can clearly see the attention to detail that went into making this film and telling this story. Below are 20 interesting facts that I learned about Moana from the cast and crew.


20. For Dwayne Johnson making Moana was one of his biggest career highlights thus far.

19. Opetaia Foa’i believes that ancestors of Polynesia would be very happy with the way the film represents their culture.

18. While she was excited to work with on a Disney animated feature, Auli’i Cravalho was weary about how the film would represent her culture. She was worried that the story wouldn’t be done right but after seeing the film confirms it is well-rounded and showcases the history of her people. 

17. Co-director Ron Clements said that drew inspiration from a lot of other films including Whale RiderMaidentrip, as well as both big versions of the film, True Grit.

16. Co-director John Musker said that the Lion King was a huge inspiration for the music in the film. He pointed out that World Music, in general, was also a big inspiration for the soundtrack.

15. Lin-Manuel Miranda was working on Moana and Hamilton: The American Musical at the same time.


14. Dwayne Johnson admitted to crying several times while watching Moana once it was finally completed.

13. While Opetaia helped create the music for the film, he was also in charge of looking over the cultural aspect of the story.

12. Lin Manuel Miranda loves The Little Mermaid. 

11. John Musker teased that there is a scene in Moana that plays homage to Mad Max: Fury Road.

10. Moana was the first film for Cravalho who recieved official confirmation that she would voice Moana via a Skype call. She was only 15 at the time.


9. Dwayne Johnson saw singing the song “You’re Welcome” as a way to challenge himself.  He followed that statement up by saying that the bar is set so incredibly high to sing in a Disney film.

8. Lin-Manuel Miranda spent 2 years and 7 and a half months working on this film. He said that working on this film forced him to say no to things that he didn’t really want to do.

7. Auli’i Cravalho’s mom voices a character in the film. The character only has one line but having her mom partake in the film meant so much to Auli’i.

6. When putting the film together, John Musker mentioned that it isn’t until he heard the film’s score that he felt the film finally becoming a real thing.

5. Osnat Shurer mentioned that there was a villiage in Fuji that inspired her to pitch the idea of making the ocean into a character in the film.


4. When writing the music for Moana, Lin-Manuel Miranda joked about the fact that he couldn’t stop thinking about Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go.”

3. Moana is the first CG film for Ron Clements. He said that when working with CG films everything is much slower. The animators have to build models as opposed to just drawing.

2. The cast of Hamilton handled the music on the demo tapes for the film.

1. Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, Osnat Shurer, Ron Clements, and John Musker all made a point to discuss how proud they were to work on this film and be a part of something so rich in culture.

Be sure to check out Disney’s Moana now playing everywhere. It is the perfect family film to see this Thanksgiving. It is hands down the best film to be released this weekend and is sure to impressive people of all ages. Please feel free to share your thoughts on Moana in the comment section below. We would love to talk with you about the film.

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