(Warning this article may contain spoiler alerts.)
Auli’i Cravalho, a Hawaiian native, was cast for the voice of Moana Waialiki. Moana is Disney’s newest princess who is the daughter of a chief, of a mystical Polynesian island.
Even though she is a princess, she does not have a love interest very unlike all the other Disney princesses. The plot of the movie is centered around Moana finding herself. One of the songs (towards the end of the movie) is called, I Am Moana, where she begins to discover who she really is. “You don’t need another person to help you find yourself,” she said.
When you get to know a person it is important to learn their name and how to say it right. Auli’i explained how to pronounce her name in a video on PEOPLE.
“It’s ‘ow,’ like you stubbed your toe. ‘Lee,’ like Bruce Lee. Then, you add an ‘e.’ Auli’i Cravalho,” she said.
She was just 14 years old when her dreams of becoming a princess became a reality. Cravalho turned 16 on the Tuesday before the movie premiered on Wednesday, November 23, 2016. Moana is 16 years old in the movie because of this Cravalho said it was easy to relate to the character she played.
“It works pretty perfectly, Moana’s 16 in the film … I totally get the fact that she’s going on, yes, a physical journey to find her final destination, but also an emotional one to figure out who she is. I think it’s a universal message and that’s what makes it really special to me,” she said.
She sings the ballad, How Far I’ll Go which is repeated throughout the movie. This song also follows the theme about finding yourself.
It talks about how she wants to live her dream even though others discourage it.
I’ve been standing at the edge of the water
‘Long as I can remember, never really knowing why
I wish I could be the perfect daughter
But I come back to the water, no matter how hard I try
She has always wanted to go out to the ocean. Her parents discourage this because they know how dangerous it can be out there. They also expect her to lead their people because she is their only child. She wants to please her parents but she longs to go. She is conflicted between doing what is right and what she dreams to do.
Throughout the story she experiences a series of conflicts. The biggest conflict continues to be finding herself. She is even able to help her demigod friend, Maui, find himself.
When Moana sings, I am Moana, she remembers who she is. She learns what really matters is she knows who she is. She can accomplish any conflict that comes her way because she knows this.
Who am I?
I am a girl who loves my island
I’m the girl who loves the sea
It calls me
I am the daughter of the village chief
We are descended from voyagers
Who found their way across the world
They call me
I’ve delivered us to where we are
I have journeyed farther
I am everything I’ve learned and more
Still it calls me
And the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me
It’s like the tide; always falling and rising
I will carry you here in my heart you’ll remind me
That come what may
I know the way
I am Moana!
This theme and simple song can be applied to anyone’s life. This movie compels views to search insides themselves and think about who they really are. They can live their dreams and be themselves no matter the conflict.