Getting to meet Auli’i Cravalho a few months ago while in LA for the Pete’s Dragon World Premiere, was a real treat. She is beautiful, smart and our interview was so much fun that I was looking forward to chatting with her again. She was meant to be the voice of Moana.


Here are a few of the highlights from our interview:


  • Auli’i feels that “…every single component, whether it was just a small little dancing scene in there, that was choreographed by a Polynesian dancer…” or “…the little details, even just listening to the palm trees swaying in the background…” were done right in the film.
  • She describes “…Maui’s mythology and the folklore of it as my bedtime stories. Because they really were. The stories of him pulling oceans out of the sea, or slowing down the sun. I not only heard it before going to bed but also at my school.”
  • Moana’s journey of finding herself is something that everyone can take away from, girl or boy. They can all learn that they can be the heroines of their own story and “being strong doesn’t mean that you don’t have your weaker moments…”
  • Moana is 16 years old in the movie and Auli’i Cravalho’s 16th birthday is on November 22nd (the day before it officially hits theaters) so they will be the same age when the movie comes out.
  • In the film, Moana puts her hair up when things need to get done which is something that Auli’i used to do while recording in the booth. Plus, they both smile a lot.
  • Auli’i Cravalho’s reaction to seeing Moana once it was finished…

“I was really blown away. I have seen it in its kind of like chalked up stages of animation where it’s not fully complete yet…and I was loving it then, I cried doing the songs. But now with its finished score, with like I said, the palm trees in the background. Or the laughing of the water, even. It blows me away, just the amount of detail that the animators and the sound guys have put in there. It’s incredible. And also seeing other people’s faces. That was so special. My mom was holding my hand.”


  • Her mom even has a line in the movie (A lady discussing a coconut).
  • Words of advice for kids trying to find their way

“…I hope that anyone else just goes out on that limb because they don’t know what life has in store for them. And please, please don’t put yourself down. Because there is so much more potential than you even know.”

Want know what the other Moana cast members had to say? Check out my interview with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and read about that time I made The Rock sweat & blush. We also chatted with Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Here are 6 Reasons Your Family Should Watch Moana

Moana is officially in theaters

Moana Poster

Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows exactly why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity.

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*I was invited by Disney to attend a press junket covering Moana. All opinions are my own.