Disney animation remains on a roll after the release of “Zootopia” in March of this year. The film has been heralded as one of the most culturally relevant films in Disney’s filmography. Beyond its important subject matter, it was praised for pushing animation to another level of detail. With “Moana” due out this November, it looks like Disney has positioned themselves for a pair of Oscar nominations in the category. With little information released about “Moana,” Disney finally broke news about the rest of the voice cast.
According to Variety, actors Jermaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk, Rachel House, and Temuera Morrison have joined the voice cast. The group has worked on various Disney projects in the past, specifically Tudyk. In fact, this will be Tudyk’s 4th animated feature in a row for Disney, making him a foil for Pixar’s John Ratzenberger. Tudyk will play Heihei the rooster, a bird that accidentally joins Moana on her adventure.
Clement will voice Tamatoa, a fifty foot tall crab they find Lalotai, the realm of monsters. He also lent his vocal skills to Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG” as the villain of that film. Clement also has singing experience as a member of “Flight of the Concords.” Scherzinger is also musically accomplished, scoring several hit songs as a member of the Pussycat Dolls. She’s appeared in a several films, including “Men in Black 3” in 2012. She’ll voice Moana’s mother, Sina, who is supportive but cautious of her daughter’s ambition.
House and Morrison will also voice Moana’s family members. House will voice Gramma Tala, who is Moana’s grandmother and confidante. Morrison will be playing Moana’s father, the leader of Motunui Island. Chief Tui wants Moana to take over as leader of their people, but is afraid of what his daughter’s spirit of adventure may mean for her and their island.
When the project was brought to light, Dwayne Johnson‘s was almost immediately attached. In fact, “The Rock” has been extremely vocal about his excitement for the film, both on social media and in interviews. Shortly after, we found out newcomer Auli’i Cravalho was brought in to voice the title character “Moana.” The new voices certainly help strengthen the talent in place. With directors John Musker and Ron Clements, the duo behind “Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” in tow, it looks like Disney may have another winner on their hands.