One Disney movie I have yet to tire of is MOANA. The beauty of the film.The soundtrack. The story. It’s among my top Disney films for all the right reasons and now we are celebrating the release of the film on BluRay. Just a quick reminder:
About The Movie
For centuries, the greatest sailors in the world masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, 3,000 years ago, their voyages stopped for a millennium – and no one knows exactly why.
From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who is inspired to leave the safety and security of her island on a daring journey to save her people. Inexplicably drawn to the ocean, Moana (voice of Auliʻi Cravalho) convinces the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) to join her mission, and he reluctantly helps her become a wayfinder like her ancestors who sailed before her. Together, they voyage across the open ocean on an action-packed adventure, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills her quest and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), and featuring music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i, “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.
Fun Facts: RESEARCH:
GET IT RIGHT – Deeply inspired by their time in the Pacific Islands, filmmakers continued to work with several of the people they met within their trips. This group of advisors came to be known as the Oceanic Story Trust (OST). The Trust includes anthropologists, educators, linguists, master tattooists, choreographers, haka practitioners, master navigators and cultural advisors who collaborated with Disney’s creative team.
ALL WET – Since much of the film is set on the ocean or near it, filmmakers worked hard to create systems and processes to create believable water. Keen to understand the clarity of the water, the team created a physical rig that was 50 feet long. A series of balls that were painted gray, black and red were hung from a rope every five feet and photographed underwater in a pool in Van Nuys, Mission Bay in San Diego and off the coast of Bora Bora. Imagine getting that through customs!
STARS ALIGNED – To create the starry sky featured in “Moana,” filmmakers turned to astronomers who researched what stars would’ve been visible in Pacific Island skies 2000 years ago.•
- Maui’s hook, which is inspired by a real constellation known by the same name inOceania and Scorpio elsewhere, is stylized to emulate the character’s prized possession.
ALL PRO– Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa‘i and Mark Mancina met in New Zealand at one of the biggest Polynesian cultural festivals, Pasifika. Shortly after arriving, Miranda was pulled onstage by the dancers to join dance. It turned out to be a competition with other audience members. He won it.
- “I’d been there two days already,” says Mancina. “And I didn’t even know where the restrooms were. Meanwhile, he hops up onstage and wins this contest. He’s a very talented guy.”
- “I was so impressed and thought ‘this is the right man for this job,’” said Foa‘i. “When we get together, there is a kind of magic that generates.”
Fun Facts: INSPIRED
THAT’S CLASSIC – Disney’s “Aladdin,” directed by “Moana” directors John Musker and Ron Clements made “Moana” co-head of animation Hyrum Osmond want to be an animator as a kid, and years later, he found himself working alongside one of “Aladdin” animators Eric Goldberg on “Moana.”
- Goldberg says it was “Dumbo” that made him want to pursue the career.
- “Moana” director John Musker, who also directed “Aladdin,” was inspired by “Sleeping Beauty” and “Pinocchio.”
UNDER THE SEA– At age 9, Lin-Manuel Miranda was profoundly inspired by “The Little Mermaid.” So when “Mermaid” directors John Musker and Ron Clements came knocking almost 25 years later for a new movie named “Moana”—Miranda was more than game to come on board.
- Miranda was officially offered the “Moana” gig on the same week he found out that he and his wife were expecting their first child.
- Filmmakers were tickled to learn that Miranda named his son Sebastian. Whether or not he was inspired by the Caribbean crab character from The Little Mermaid remais a mystery.
We already have the BluRay edition with all the BONUS features. You can buy it now over at amazon:
Make sure you check out all my MOANA coverage before leaving! I have a fun recipe, red carpet recap, and interviews!
***Disclosure: I attended the #MOANABluRay Event My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***