Moana, the upcoming film from Disney, looks set to have a decidedly Kiwi flavour with the announcement of New Zealand stars Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement and Rachel House as part of the voice cast for the animated movie.
The film, which follows the story of 16-year-old Moana (played by Auli’I Cravalho) as she teams up with demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), was also written by Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi.
Watch the trailer for Moana in the video below - story continues after the video
Moana’s father, Chief Tui, will be voiced by celebrated New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison and is described as “the gregarious and well-respected leader” of Motunui Island who hopes his daughter will one day follow in his footsteps.
Jemaine Clement, who was most recently seen in Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, will be voicing a “self-absorbed, 50-foot” crab named Tamatoa.
Last but not least, Kiwi actress Rachel House – who appeared in Whale Rider and Hunt for the Wilderpeople - will play Moana’s grandmother and confidante Gramma Tala, who “definitely dances to the beat of her own drum”.
The New Zealand trio join singer Nicole Scherzinger, who voices Moana's mother Sina.
Directors Ron Clements and John Musker – the same team behind Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, said the voice cast for their film was beyond their “wildest dreams”.
“We are so fortunate to have this group of talented actors, many from Oceania, breathing life into their characters,” said Musker.
“We are so thankful to have found such extraordinary people who not only capture the voices of these characters, they elevate them in every way,” added Clements.
Moana is due to be released in new Zealand on December 26, 2016.
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