Five years ago, the acclaimed animated film “Moana – A Sea of Adventure” hit US theaters and won over viewers of all ages.
The plot follows Moana, a sixteen-year-old Polynesian teenager (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho in the original version) who ventures across the Pacific Ocean to unravel the mystery surrounding her ancestors. During her incredible journey, she meets the powerful demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson in the original version) and together they cross the sea on an action-packed journey, facing ferocious creatures, with moments of great fun and adventure.
With sales of more than $ 645 million worldwide, the production garnered critical acclaim and two Oscar nominations, including Best Animation. To celebrate your birthday, we’ve put together a short list with some behind-the-scenes trivia, which you can check out below:
Johnson believes voice acting is the most difficult career – and is personally irritated when celebrities are cast in animated films when they don’t know how to act. When Johnson was hired for the project, he repeatedly asked other voice actors to attend and help him put on a good performance. The genie lamp from the classic “Aladdin” can be seen in the shell of Tamatoa, the giant crab. Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer of the soundtrack, revealed that Tamatoa was created as a tribute to the legendary David Bowie.
When he first gets his hook and tries to transmute into other creatures, Maui transforms into various animals. For a brief second, he becomes Sven, the reindeer from ‘Frozen: A Freezing Adventure’. Directors John Musker and Ron Clements did extensive research for months and delved into Polynesian culture to create a film respectful of the mythology explored. Despite the attempts recognized by the Polynesian people, there has been a debate about the construction of Maui and the character of Vovó Tala.
“Moana” became the first film to feature a major Polynesian cast which, in addition to Johnson and Cravalho, included Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Oscar Kightley and Troy Polamalu. Moana comes from an island called Motu Nui. In many Polynesian dialects, motu means “island” and nui means “big”. At least two true Pacific Islands bear this name: one is close to Easter Island and the other belongs to French Polynesia. Te Ka, in several Polynesian dialects, means The Burning One, while Te Fiti is translated as The Bright One.
The first draft of the screenplay was signed by acclaimed director Taika Waititi known for such works as “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Jojo Rabbit”. Ultimately, Jared Bush was responsible for the latest side of the story. Dinah Jane, known for being part of the pop group Fifth Harmony, auditioned to play Moana in the feature film.
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