“Auli’i demonstrated a certain fearlessness in her auditions and call-backs,” said director John Musker in a statement released a little earlier today to make the casting official. “She has a playful, mischievous wit. She can project vulnerability, she doesn’t seem intimidated at all by the challenges ahead, and her Polynesian background has helped shape her connection to family, hard work and music. These are all qualities she shares with Moana.”
The movie focuses on Moana, a born navigator who searches for a fabled island. Her journey sees her team-up with legendary demi-god Maui as they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and more. The first official still from Moana can also be seen above, and it looks set to be another great looking movie from Disney Animation (who were also responsible for Frozen).