Da da da daaa! The next Disney princess has been announced! In November 2016, Moana will make her debut as the daughter of a Polynesian chief. Per the synopsis on IMDb, she loves to sail the sea and sets off on a voyage when her family needs help. The story will also include the demigod Maui who is an actual historical figure in the region's mythology.
Maui will be voiced by Dwayne Johnson and from the pictures, he bares a slight resemblance to the animated demigod. The voice of Moana will be Auli'i Cravalho who is from Oahu of the Hawaiian Islands. Disney did something different this time and held an open audition for the role. Girls from all over were able to upload videos to YouTube of them singing and acting. Some were asked to come for a live audition. In an online callback session, 14-year-old Carvalho was told to say a few lines and then she was surprised with the role. The casting directors had already decided on her but wanted to give her a special surprise. This will be Carvalho's first motion picture and she will also lend her singing voice to Moana's character in addition to her bubbly speaking voice.
Out of all 14 princesses, Moana is only the fifth official Disney princess who is not of European decent. Jasmine, Mulan, Tiana, and Pocahontas are the only other non-white princess. Props to Disney for branching out a little bit more. However, in the past, Disney has been accused of stereotyping the stories, especially with The Princess and the Frog. But it seems that so far they have stayed as true as they can by casting a girl who is really from the islands so she sounds like Moana would with a Hawaiian accent. And it also looks like they're going back to the mythology of that culture to make it accurate.