We’re very excited to have our first look at the complete list of main characters in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ next project Moana. Directors Ron Clements and John Musker return to create a story that showcases the life-changing journey of a tenacious 16-year-old who teams up with the mighty demigod Maui to fulfill an ancient quest.
“Our assembled voice cast for this film is beyond our wildest dreams,” said Musker. “We are so fortunate to have this group of talented actors, many from Oceania, breathing life into their characters.”
Added Clements, “We are so thankful to have found such extraordinary people who not only capture the voices of these characters, they elevate them in every way.”
Animation is a very collaborative art. From story artists to directors, from animators to voice actors and everyone in between, it is a group effort. And yet, it is often the voice actors who get the accolades. We’d like to mention the animators in charge of each character too, unfortunately Disney doesn’t provide that information this early in the marketing process for its movies.
The newly revealed characters and voice talent join the already announced duo that includes newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho, who lends her voice to the title character, Moana, a teenager who dreams of becoming a master wayfinder, and Dwayne Johnson (HBO’s “Ballers,” “Central Intelligence”), who voices Maui—half god, half mortal, all awesome.
Moana character list includes:
Tamatoa, a self-absorbed, 50-foot crab who lives in Lalotai, the realm of monsters, is voiced by Emaine Clement (“The BFG,” “Despicable Me,” “Rio,” “Rio 2,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” Flight of the Conchords). The conceited crustacean wants to be more than a “bottom feeder” and overcompensates for this perceived shortcoming by covering himself in all things shiny.
Gramma Tala is Moana’s confidante and best friend. she’s voiced by Rachel House (“Whale Rider,” “Hunt for the Wilderpeople”). Gramma Tala shares her granddaughter’s special connection to the ocean. Although her son Tui, the chief of Motunui, is a no-nonsense leader, Gramma Tala most definitely dances to the beat of her own drum.
Chief Tui is Moana’s father and is voiced by Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Once Were Warriors,” “Six Days, Seven Nights”). The gregarious and well-respected leader of the people of Motunui Island, Chief Tui wants Moana to follow in his footsteps as leader of their people, but fears his daughter’s draw to the ocean and the world that lies beyond their reef.
Sina is Moana’s mother, voice provided by Nicole Scherzinger (Grammy-nominated singer, West End’s “Cats”). Sina always has her daughter’s back. Playful, sharp and strong-willed, she appreciates Moana’s longing to be on the water, but also wants to protect her daughter from the fabled dangers beyond the reef.
Heihei is one of Disney’s unique animal sidekicks. Voiced by the marvelous Alan Tudyk, (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Big Hero 6”), Heihei is one dumb rooster—the village idiot, in fact. When the clueless chicken accidentally stows away on Moana’s canoe, he lands a front-row seat for her epic journey.
The roster of characters also includes the Kakamora, an intense team of crazy, coconut-armored pirates who will stop at nothing to get what they want, and Pua, Moana’s loyal pet pig with puppy energy and an innocent puppy brain. Pua looks like he might just be a scene stealer. Do you have a favorite character so far?
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 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 meets the mighty demigod Maui, 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.
“Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016