All the Mind-Blowing Casting Secrets You Need to Know About Disney’s Moana

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After Finding Dory came out a couple months ago, we didn’t think we’d be that pumped for another Disney movie’s release for a long time. But then we saw the first trailer for Moana, The Mouse’s latest princess creation, and needless to say — the excitement is real.

When it was announced that Disney would be creating a movie based on a Polynesian princess, countless youngsters jumped on the opportunity to be part of such an iconic world. We still have quite a lot of time before the animated film hits theaters (November 23, come sooner!!), but in the meantime we thought it’d be fun to think about the crazy process that went into making Moana one of the greatest animations of all time.

1. Dinah Jane Hansen auditioned to voice Moana — When Disney first announced that they’d be making a film starring a Polynesian princess, Fifth Harmony fans rallied for Dinah to be considered. Although film execs ultimately went with newcomer Auli’i Cravalho for the role, the 5H singer confirmed to MTV that she did, in fact, try out for it. “I auditioned for the role a couple months ago and I just found it as an opportunity for me to audition for the first Polynesian princess. I wanted to represent for Polynesians, and that was always my goal, because not everyone knows about us and I just want to represent for them. So I was like, ‘I want to try it, it’s a Disney princess, why not try it?'”



2. The fact that Auli’i Cravalho was cast is actually pretty surprising — Disney auditioned thousands of young girls in hopes of finding the perfect voice for their newest Disney princess. While the Hawaiian native is seemingly perfect for the role now, and had virtually no experience before coming in to read for one of the biggest films of recent years. In fact, Moana is the 15-year-old’s acting debut and she recorded the movie when she was just 14, making her the youngest Disney princess voice ever.

3. To make things even crazier, Auli’i originally didn’t even audition for the movie — Although she was super excited to hear about the audition, the teenager thought there was “no way that could be [her],” so she didn’t send a tape. But after an Oahu-based casting director saw a video of her singing at local charity competition and encouraged her to go for it, she started the process and the rest is history.

4. Auli’i wasn’t the only Hawaii-born girl to try out for Moana — A Maui-based singer named Makamae Kailani Auwae was another teen who sent an audition tape to Disney executives, and actually got a callback to audition live for the role. “Yeah, so I mean it was exciting ’cause I’ve been waiting for the callback for so long,” she said shortly after getting the email. “For over a month, I think. It was really cool that they considered me for the role.”

Dinah isn’t the only celebrity who auditioned to voice a Disney princess — these 9 other famous females did, too: