Are you the Māori Moana?

By Tepara Koti
Moana / Disney

The call has gone out from The Walt Disney Animation Studios and Matewa Media who are searching for our very own Māori Moana as the movie is set to be dubbed in te reo Māori.

The Academy Award nominated animated feature Moana has particularly resonated with Māori and Pacific Island viewers who will no doubt be excited with the news.

The recording process will take place over the next few months with actors Rachel House (“Gramma Tala”), Temuera Morrison (“Chief Tui”), Jemaine Clement (“Tamatoa”) and Oscar Kightley (“Fisherman”) reprising their roles.

Te Whānau-a-Apanui's Rob Ruha, a multi-award-winning composer and solo artist, has joined the team as both Musical Director and as an integral part of the translation/adaptation team.

Release details are to be announced, with the goal to have the film shared both in festivals and on DVD for educational purposes in Aotearoa and beyond.

"It's been a big dream of mine to see mainstream movies translated into te reo Māori," says Waititi.

"For indigenous audiences to hear films in their own language is a huge deal, helping to normalize the native voice and give a sense of identification. It also encourages our youth to continue with their love and learning of the language, letting them know their culture has a place in the world."

"A few years ago, as we worked on the Moana script with the incredible Taika Waititi, he expressed a deep interest in creating a Māori language version of the film,” said Moana producer Osnat Shurer.

"We are so excited for Disney Character Voices International Team and the Matewa Media Trust to work together to make this a reality."

Waititi along with Rachel House took to YouTube with instructions for sending in auditions, but urge people to be quick as recording is set for June 24.

Casting information can be found on the Adrenaline Group website.