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Fluent in Hawaiian? You Could Be Cast in a Translated Version of Disney’s “Moana”

Native Hawaiian speakers can join Auli‘i Cravalho on a planned dubbed version of the Disney blockbuster about Polynesian voyaging. Deadline is Nov. 24.



Aloha nui kākou! Eia nō hoʻi au ʻo Auliʻi Cravalho ma Nuioka nei. A piha ʻeu ka hauʻoli i ka hana hou ʻia ʻana ʻo Moana... a i kēia manawa... ma ka ʻōlelo makuahine o kuʻu one hānau o Hawaiʻi! Aloha! 🌺 I am THRILLED to announce I will be reprising my role in Moana... and this time... in the Hawaiian language!! 😄 Thank you to @DisneyAnimation, @UHWestOahu and everyone who has joined us to create this very special Hawaiian language version of the film. 🙌🏼 To learn more about our exciting project and CASTING PROCESS, please visit ➡️acmsystem.hawaii.edu⬅️ (link also in my bio!) We can’t wait to share this with you!!! ❤️ @disney @uhwoacm @honolulucc #moanaohana #olelohawaii #hawaiianlanguage

A post shared by Auli'i (@auliicravalho) on


HONOLULU asked the question—“Why isn’t there a Moana in Hawaiian?”—Sept. 22 after reports that a Maori-dubbed version of the animated hit had packed movie theaters in New Zealand.


SEE ALSO: “Moana” in Maori a Hit in New Zealand—Why Not in Hawaiian?


Well, from our mouth to Disney’s ear, apparently. On Nov. 2, casting calls were announced for those who speak, chant and sing in Hawaiian. An earlier announcement from the Academy for Creative Media System at the University of Hawai‘i said the goal was “sharing the film for educational purposes in Hawai‘i and beyond.” Their collaboration with Walt Disney Studios will begin in a few weeks, with Cravalho reprising her role.


The statement continued:


Managed by the Creative Media program at the University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu, faculty members from across the University of Hawai‘i system will collaborate on behalf of the project. Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, professor of Hawaiian Language and Executive Director of Awaiaulu, a community nonprofit organization that deals in Hawaiian-language translation, will oversee a team of translators made up of current and former students at UH Mānoa’s Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language; Hailiʻōpua Baker, professor of Hawaiian Theatre at UH Mānoa’s theater department will serve as acting director; ethnomusicologist Aaron J. Salā will serve the project as music director; the film will be re-recorded in Hawaiian at Honolulu Community College’s MELE Studio and engineered by Jon Ross; filmmaker and collections specialist for UHWO’s ‘Uluʻulu, Heather Giugni, filmmaker and collections specialist for UHWO’s ‘Uluʻulu, Hawaiʻi’s moving image archive, and Sharla Hanaoka, director of Creative Media at UHWO, are producers of this Moana dubbing project, in cooperation with Rick Dempsey, SVP Creative, for Disney Character Voices International. Kaliko Maii is an associate producer.


Casting will be overseen by Rachel Sutton. Fluent Hawaiian language speakers and singers should submit the following to acms@hawaii.edu. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 24, 2017, 5 p.m. Hawai‘i time.


Documents to submit:

  1. Photo

  2. Cell phone number

  3. Link to Vimeo or YouTube video

  4. Video should include: 

• Introduction in Hawaiian

• List of previous acting experience in Hawaiian

• Explanation of why they want to be in the production in Hawaiian

• A sample of singing/chanting in Hawaiian




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