October 08, 2015
Disney announced Wednesday the casting of its newest princess.
Auli'i Cravalho of Hawaii will voice the lead in Disney Animation's next princess movie, "Moana." The 14-year-old lives in the town of Mililani with her mother, Puanani.
"Moana is such an amazing character," Cravalho told People. "She’s brave, she is so empowered, she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to get it, and I think that’s something that I can relate to as well. I just love watching how she goes along in this wonderful movie and grows as a person and helps her culture along the way."
Thank you all so much for the love and support you have shown me today! I'm so blessed to be a part of the Disney 'ohana. Mahalo! #Moana ❤️— Auli'i Cravalho (@auliicravalho) October 8, 2015
Fellow cast member Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson welcomed Cravalho to the cast in an Instagram post. Johnson will play a demigod named Maui whom Moana encounters during her travels.
"What's amazing about this story is that she didn't think she was good enough so she never auditioned," Johnson wrote.
"Fortunately, one of our Oahu casting agents discovered her singing at a charity competition and the rest is history. An awesome lesson to all young kids out there... work hard, have confidence in yourselves and never think you're not good enough because you never know what the future holds. Congratulations Auli'i! Can't wait to work with you and watch you bring this new Disney Princess to life."
Watch Cravalho's road to casting below:
"Moana" hits theaters Nov. 23, 2016.