In case you have been living in a cave or the bottom of the ocean let me tell you that Disney is about to release another AMAZING film. Moana is due in theaters this week and I was blessed with the opportunity to learn a little about what went into the making of this film. Now of course I’m going to share the behind the scenes info with you!
You’re welcome! If you love Disney like I do then I’m sure you have already bought your tickets to this latest film. Allow me to get you even more excited as you countdown to the theater release. Moana took five years and lots of research to complete. Three trips to the South Pacific Islands and lots of collaborations.
Each of the trips contained it’s own magic. You could look at each trip as being a certain chapter of the journey that would make Moana complete. The first trip became about the people. It was on this first visit that the creative team was inspired to rethink the story that they were telling. Now, that doesn’t mean scrap what they had and start new. It simply means that the vision had shifted into a new reality. The people of the islands visited became part of the fabric that would tell the story of Moana. As a creative person I love when other creatives allow the story to decide the destination.
The second trip was focused on the music that would bring the movie together. It was also the first time that composers Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina and Lin-Manuel Miranda would meet. You would never know that they weren’t lifelong collaborators by how fabulous and fused the music is in this movie. You will find yourself wanting to sing and dance in the theater as you listen and are enchanted by the beats, harmony and lyrics.
The third trip went back to focusing on the beauty and magic of the islands that had originally called to the creators. This final visit would be the one to decide every ebb and flow of Moana’s Montinui. It is where they would get final inspiration for the land and the sea that serves as much more than a backdrop to the film.
Everything in this film goes together so well. The actors bring so much of themselves to the role while still allowing the characters to be original. Seeing the natural movements of the characters it is easy at times to forget they’re cartoons!
Here is a bit of Moana trivia. Mini Maui is hand drawn! Another seamless collaboration. Even though I’m sure it took so much to make it flow so effortlessly the team makes everything run together so smoothly. Moan is a CGI cartoon except for the Mini Maui!
The beauty of this film is in the collaborations. The dances found throughout the film merge together dances found on different islands in the Pacific. Even Maui himself was formed by blending different Maui legends from islands.
Jessica Julius, creative executive at Disney share a quote with us from an elder the crew met in Mo’orea. It resonated with me. And after watching the film I know it resonated with the creative team as well.
“For years we’ve been swallowed by your culture. For once can you be swallowed by ours?”