There's nothing like chatting with someone who truly loves and appreciates what is given to them in life.
Sixteen-year-old Native Hawaiian, Auli’i Cravalho is an infectiously charming young lady who will absolutely steal your heart!
Cravalho was 14 years old when she won the part of Moana, Disney's newest animated "heroine" — not to be confused with the word "princess." Moana finds adventure rather than a prince, learning the ancient and long-abandoned craft of way-finding in order to save her people from a darkness that descends on her Hawaiian village. Cravalho, whose ancestors were also Hawaiian way-finders, brings an authentic voice to the ambitious project, which took its creators through years of research trips to various corners of Oceania and enlisted a team of anthropologists, linguists, master navigators, and cultural advisers in order to build a film with genuine Hawaiian roots.
In Moana, Auli'i lends her voice to the adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, ( played by Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson) who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Together they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds. Along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity.
It's hard to believe that Moana is her FIRST role. Not only does she lend her voice to the lead character but she sings as well. Cravalho is a bundle of energy and her personality lights up every room she enters. There is no doubt that this young lady will go very far in life.
I had the pleasure of speaking with her during a recent stop in Toronto ( her first time in cold weather!) We discussed what an honor it is to represent her Polynesian culture as Moana, getting to sing original songs with lyrics written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (the creator of Hamilton), and how much fun it was meeting Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
MOANA sails into theatres on Wednesday November 23rd.
Check out our interview below!