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Auli’i Cravalho embodies the best of Disney’s “Moana”

At age 16, Auli’i Cravalho is everything any parent could hope for from a daughter: smart, talented, interesting, hopeful and — following her recent performance at the Academy Awards — the epitome of grace under pressure.

Cravalho is the voice of Disney’s title character in “Moana,” and performed the animated film’s Oscar-nominated song, “How Far I’ll Go,” live for the Feb. 26 telecast, where she was hit in the head with a dancer’s flag for the second time in two days.

Watch it again:

On Friday, March 3, she was in San Francisco promoting today‘s Blu-ray/DVD release of “Moana.” A viral video prompted a question about her Oscar incident, which she laughed off as a reminder that it was a “real” moment after she “digested her butterflies.”

I was able to ask her a handful of questions during a 25-minute roundtable interview. I’ve included the video in two segment links below. Cravalho is articulate and expressive — serious but self deprecating — with a radiant beauty that typed words alone cannot capture.

I asked Cravalho a few questions based on information I received from co-director John Musker about the first time she saw a very rough version of the film; her reaction to story changes involving her sidekick pig, Pua; how she landed the role late in the game after being invited to audition; and the strong bond she shares with her mother.

Cravalho thought of her mother to tap the emotions she needed when sharing scenes with Grandma Tala in “Moana,” because they both ”love her unconditionally” and push her “110 percent.”

The first video segment ends with her discussing school and life back home in Hawaii where everyone is part of “Ohana” — her family. The second video segment includes further discussion of her life, a very brief mention of her next project — “Drama High,” an NBC Television pilot being filmed in New York; and, where she sees herself in five years.

Part 1:

She says her ultimate goal is to sing, act and become an attorney. Cravalho is also immensely interested in microbiology and cellular biology and is working on a project to develop a natural sunblock from algae that would be better for people and the ocean.

The second video segment ends with Cravalho’s reaction to this quote from Musker: “Auli’i is Moana in so many ways including her spirit of mischief, her intelligence, her courage, and her empathy.”

Part 2:

We wish Cravalho continued success in her performing career and, someday, in her law career. What did you think of her performance as Moana?

Pick up the new Blu-ray/DVD release of “Moana” on Amazon today. Your purchase there will help support The Disney Blog

Previously: Auli’i Cravalho, voice of Moana, cast in NBC pilot.

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  1. Pingback: Disney Animation's "Moana" sails beyond $600 million at box office | The Disney Blog

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