- Title: 'Moana' cast and crew talk cultural identity and Marvel dreams
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 12, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR DWAYNE 'THE ROCK' JOHNSON SAYING: "I am half black and half Samoan so the Polynesian culture, I've always found there's just such this interesting irony and juxtaposition of very... it's a very tough culture, just tough, there are tough men, tougher women but beautiful and warm and caring, it's such a great mix. So, I think people will be really pleasantly surprised and in a way it's kind of like a masterclass, if you will, of Polynesian culture and storytelling done through the eyes of Disney animation."
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 19:20
- Keywords: Moana Disney Dwayne Johnson The Rock Lin-Manuel Miranda Marvel Disney Princesses Auli'i Cravalho
- Location: SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES / UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS
- City: SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES / UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA00E59IYCZX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The cast and creative minds behind "Moana," say culture identity and adventure are at the heart of the latest Disney animated movie.
The film is about a young woman who uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, voiced by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
"The folklore of Maui is something that lives within our Polynesian culture so as we grow up, we hear these stories from our grandmothers and aunties of Maui, the great Maui, the demi-god Maui, so he lives within our history. It's just a matter of what the interpretation was of what he looked like but I loved the way he looked, he sings, he does the haka and he has this big, big heart which I love so was there any similarities between him and me? I would just say his big ego," Johnson told Reuters.
While Moana herself could be considered part of the greater Disney Princess universe, Dwayne says there is something different about her and the story that is very personal for him.
"I have two daughters at home, one of 11 months old and the other is 15 years old and my 15 year old is Moana and it's so beautiful to see. I feel like Moana represents not only may daughter but so many teenage girls around the world who fight for an identity and who have a strong point of view and who are quick to give their opinion and feel good about it too," he said.
Moana is voiced by newcomer Auli'i Cravalho.
"Dwayne was incredible. I actually got to meet him at a Miami content shoot. We didn't get to rub elbows in the recording booth but he did bring me flowers so I forgive him for being the busiest man in the world," she said.
The man behind the film's music is Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda.
"My music is the way I get in the room, right? It's so incredible to be at a Disney off-site meeting, you'll have a screening of a rough cut of your film and then the people who you sit and get notes from are not studio executives, it's not a test screening, you see Jon Lasseter sitting next to the director of "Frozen", sitting next to director of "Inside Out", everyone who's actually making things and they all kick the tires on your story and they ask questions and you have vigorous debate and you come out with a better story than when you started and that's the kind of environment I always want to work in."
Miranda also hopes it will open more doors for him at Disney, a studio where he is already working on a number of projects including a live-action version of "The Little Mermaid" and "Mary Poppins Returns."
He told Reuters that he also has his eyes on another franchise in Mouse House, revealing: "I'm a Marvel buff, I grew up reading those comics, if they ever do a Maximum Carnage storyline I want dibs on Carnage but, yeah, that's an incredible world and what they've managed to do to actually make a series of films that feel like when your favorite comic book character jumps into your comic, it's really... I'm in awe of it."
"Moana" arrives in theaters on November 23, 2016.
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