Hawaiian-language version of ‘Moana’ planned

  • Photo courtesy of Disney Auli'i Cravalho will star in the lead role in the Hawaiian-language version of "Moana."

LIHUE — Disney is seeking Hawaiian-language speakers to star in a movie.

Walt Disney Animation Studios is collaborating with the University of Hawaii to produce a Hawaiian-language version of the hit feature “Moana.”

Casting for additional roles within the new version will begin in the next few weeks, according to a UH news release.

The Annie Award-winning star of Moana, Native Hawaiian Auli‘i Cravalho, reprises her role as the main character for the Hawaiian version.

“I am so deeply proud of my Hawaiian roots,” Cravalho said. “To perform the role of Moana, acting and singing in the Hawaiian language, is so deeply humbling and exciting. I can’t wait to work with the talented language experts who will help bring this version to life.”

The University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media System is funding and coordinating this collaborative project with the goal of sharing the film for educational purposes in Hawaii and beyond.

The film will be re-recorded in Hawaiian at Honolulu Community College’s Mele Studio and engineered by Jon Ross.

“There are many great things to highlight about this collaboration,” UH West Oahu Chancellor Maenette Benham said. “The movie can be used as a language-learning tool. It builds positive motivation and pride for all children and youth to know their cultural moolelo, and it speaks to the brilliant collaboration of our faculty and staff across the UH system.”

The Hawaiian version of Moana is anticipated to be distributed via the state Department of Education to schools throughout the state as a Hawaiian-language educational tool.

Casting will be overseen by Rachel Sutton. Fluent Hawaiian-language speakers and singers can submit photos, cell numbers and links to a Vimeo or YouTube video of them singing/chanting in Hawaiian to acms@hawaii.edu. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 17. More information is available at acmsystem.hawaii.edu/moana-dubbing-project-casting.


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