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Disney’s Moana in the Hawaiian Language

The ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi version of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana will be distributed to schools across the state as the culmination of a year-long production striving to encourage students to learn the Hawaiian language. The movie stars Auliʻi Cravalho, UH Mānoa student Christopher Kaipulaumakaniolono Baker as Maui, Waiʻanae's Nicole Scherzinger as Sina, Kelikokauaikekai Hoe as Ali‘i Tui, Kalehuapuakeʻula Kawaʻa as Puna Tala, Kamakakehau Fernandez as Tamatoa, and 24 locally-cast ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi-speaking actors and singers.

The University of Hawaiʻi’s Academy for Creative Media System funded and coordinated the re-recording of Moana. Members from across the University of Hawaiʻi system collaborated on the project: Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, professor of Hawaiian Language and Executive Director of Awaiaulu, a nonprofit organization for Hawaiian-language translation training, oversaw a team of Awaiaulu's translators; Hailiʻōpua Baker, Professor of Hawaiian Theatre at UH-Mānoa’s Theatre department served as acting director; and Ethnomusicologist Aaron J. Salā served as music director. The film was re-recorded at Honolulu Community College’s MELE Studio and engineered by Jon Ross. Collections specialist and producer for UH West Oʻahu’s ‘Uluʻulu, Hawaiʻi’s moving image archive Heather Giugni and Sharla Hanaoka, Director of Creative Media at UHWO, served as producers of the Hawaiian language-version of Moana, in cooperation with Rick Dempsey, SVP Creative, for Disney Character Voices International.

University of Hawai‘i Alumni