The Pete’s Dragon Event was jammed pack with Disney fun including seeing some early footage of Moana, learning how to draw Mini Maui and a surprise interview with the voice of Moana, Auli’I Carvalho! Before we met her, we fell in love with both her and her mom Puanani after watching the clip below of casting of Moana.
1. Auli’i did not initially audition for the role of Moana. Her friends and her actually put together an audition to be the entertainment for a nonprofit event on the island, and a Disney casting director saw it.
The casting director for Disney saw that audition and through an intricate web, it just kind of arose and when she emailed my mom and asked if I wanted to audition, it was like, fantastic! Yes please! And the rest is kind of history.
2. She could not tell anyone for three months after she found out that she was the voice of Moana. Since she was sworn to secrecy, she would talk about it often with her mom, the only other person that knew.
She’d come home at night and she’d say,” Mommy, I’m Moana!” I’d say, you sure are sweetie. -Puanani
3. When she was finally able to tell people in her home of Hawaii they were very proud of her.
Hawaii has the feeling of, you made it and you made it for us. And I just feel so proud of that.
4. Auli’I Cravalho is so proud of her character Moana.
She’s totally bad butt, she’s really awesome.
To have such a beautiful young teen who shows that it’s okay to go on a journey to find yourself, it’s wonderful, because that message is universal to everyone.
5. When asked about meeting The Rock, Auli’I thought that they would be recording in the same booth. She thought whole process of recording without meeting someone was something she was not prepared to at first, and had to get use to it. When she did get to meet him in person, she thought that he was extremely dedicated.
He loves the character Maui so much. Because he’s Polynesian just like I am. So to see that he’s so committed to the character just made it almost overwhelming. The amount of emotion that I know I put into it, I know that he puts the same amount.
6. Auli’I would love to pursue acting as a career, but she is also interested in either a law career or something in science, like cellular molecular biology.
I would love to pursue this but at the same time I’m super glad that I kind of thought of the future and what might or may not happen. Because I’m going to study no matter what.
7. The research that Disney did for Moana really impressed Auli’I.
As a Polynesian, we believe that everything is connected. So from Malta to Makai, from the ocean to the sea, we respect that. Because, we use everything. Everything. So if we take care of the land or we take care of the ocean, then it’ll take care of us. And the script really held that in there.
8. Mulan is her favorite Disney Princess.
She is kick-butt. She’s awesome and I think what really resonated was she always wants to honor her family. She totally broke the gender norm of like going to war and doing what, what she felt was necessary. So that totally resonated with me.
9. When we asked Auli’I’s mother what she thought about this amazing journey her daughter is on, she said that even though this is a new experience for both of them, she knows Auli’I is in good hands.
She is truly is enjoying this. And that makes it okay. And to be in the hands of Disney, we’re in good hands. And so I’m doing my mommy part and I’m staying close with her, because I need to be on this journey with her. But she’s happy and she’s thriving, and we’re in good hands.
10. The biggest lesson that Auli’I learned about herself while filming Moana was the importance of family.
I love my family and the fact that Moana kind of shares that, because she loves her people. I think a lot of people say when you go to Hawaii, you’ll notice the ambience and you’ll notice everyone is friendly because we all care about and think about each other.