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Learn About the Making of Moana, Plus Hear More of the Soundtrack, In Disney’s Latest Featurettes

Disney’s got a lot of resources, and in the making of Moana, they chose to spend them on ensuring the movie would be an accurate representation of the Polynesian culture it represents. In this short making-of featurette, you can hear behind-the-scenes interviews with the creative team behind the film, including the stars Auli’I Cravalho and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, plus composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who co-wrote seven original songs for Moana–some of which we’ve already heard and loved.

There are also interviews with tons of experts and locals to the areas that Disney visited in the research for this film. The creative team behind Moana definitely put in the footwork when it came to speaking directly to the sources about what should go into the film and the story.

Also in that video, we got the treat of hearing the Moana soundtrack in the background. Disney has also uploaded a clip of one of the songs in Moana, with the lead vocal sung by Lin-Manuel Miranda:

This version will be the one in the actual film, even though it’s not sung by a specific character, but rather by Miranda acting as an omniscient narrator of sorts. The song is co-composed by Opetaia Foa’i, a songwriter from Western Samoa, who also sings the back-up vocals on the track. This version was originally supposed to be a demo recording, but it’s getting used in the final film:

Although Lin-Manuel Miranda might be the more recognizable songwriting name for us, Opetaia Foa’i has co-composing credit on many of the soundtrack’s songs. Disney specifically was “looking for a songwriter from the Pacific area,” as Foa’i explained in an interview at Stuff.

This all ties back to the ethos behind making Moana: the movie has lots of recognizable and famous names on board, but it also has involvement in key creative roles from artists that hail from Polynesian islands. Pretty cool!

(via Collider, image via screencap)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).

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