The ultimate anti-princess has been creating quite a buzz! Voyaging into the box offices last week, this brave girl’s start in the animated world was just as much about finding her true nature as anything else. Here are some fun facts about Disney’s latest animated, adventurous feature.
1. Moana‘s creators weren’t down withe the barbie look – this leading lady was designed to have a ‘realistic’ body type.
2. This is the first time the characters in a Disney film have had such naturalistic and dynamic hair. The animation team actually had to create new processes and tools to manipulate the hair type in Moana.
3. Lin-Manuel Miranda was actually recruited for the film BEFORE the success of Hamilton. Prior to his now celeb status, Disney had been a fan of his work, In the Heights.
4. Not only is the name Moana a unisex name, but it is also a word in the South Pacific meaning “ocean.”
5. There are two Easter eggs in Moana for all you Disney fans – both Flounder from The Little Mermaid and Olaf from Frozen make an appearance.
6. Directors Ron Clements and John Musker were determined to have voice actors that had personal ties or some connection to the Pacific Islands.
7. Speaking of voice actors, the auditions for the demigod Maui weren’t open – they were reserved specifically for Dwayne Johnson, who they reached out to directly.
8. After research trips to the South Pacific, the filmmakers were convinced the story needed to include the abundant pigs and roosters from the community, resulting in the characters Pua and HeiHei. They wanted to incorporate the ever-present animals so much, that all the noises Pua makes are actually made by a real pig rather than a human, and HeiHei’s voice is an interweaving of Alan Tudyk’s voice and real recorded rooster sounds.
9. In fact, over the course of the research trips, the team formed the Oceanic Story Trust. The trust includes a team of experts in a variety of fields (anthropologists, academics, educators, linguists, navigators, and cultural advisors) who collaborated with the creative team to make Moana as realistic and accurate as possible.
10. Last but certainly not least, the original storyline had actually revolved around Johnson’s Maui, whereas Moana was placed as a secondary character out to save her love interest. We are happy to say the plot was eventually changed to revolve around Moana’s own issues and finding herself, and “not her relationship with a guy.”