Disney’s newest princess Moana has found a voice in a young girl from Oahu named Auli’i Cravalho. The high school freshmen is about to make history as the first Polynesian royal in the pantheon alongside stories of Snow White, Princess Jasmine and Princess Tiana.
Jezebel last reported on the Moana film’s progress in 2014, when we learned she will be a “spirited teenager” who is a “born navigator” that sets off to find the lost ancient world of Oceania with a demigod named Maui. Moana will also have a pet pig named Pua and a rooster buddy named Hei Hei.
According to People, the story takes place about 2,000 years ago and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is half-African American and half-Polynesian, will voice the character of Maui… and sing. As for Auli’i, she’s over the moon for the opportunity to play Moana.
“Moana is such an amazing character,” says Cravalho, who lives in the town of Mililani with her mother, Puanani. “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.”
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, the men behind Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, Moana is set to open in theaters on November 23, 2016.
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Image via People video.