Disney has found its brand-new Princess Moana in native Hawaiian newcomer Auli'i Cravalho. Watch as Disney breaks the news to the 14-year-old actress -- it's unsurprisingly adorable.
And with this new casting announcement comes even more news on the latest Disney animated feature. "Moana" is spearheaded by long-standing Disney directors Ron Clements and John Musker (who co-directed "Aladdin" and "The Princess and the Frog"). The film stars both Auli'i and the previously announced Dwayne Johnson, who plays a demi-god named Maui.
The overseas adventure has long promised to pull from South Pacific roots, and it looks like the casting call is no different. Clearly Disney is making an effort keep this picture centered around the culture that inspired the plot.
And speaking of plot, Disney has also released a slightly more detailed summary for the animated adventure: "Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast South Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped -- and no one today knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes "Moana," a sweeping, CG-animated adventure about a spirited teenager who sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder and fulfill her ancestors' unfinished quest. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli'i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demi-god Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), and together, they traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous fiery creatures and impossible odds."
This verifies that "Moana" will take place over 2,000 years ago. Not sure what that means for the plot, but if there are demi-gods involved, that usually means there's a whole hierarchy of additional gods we've yet to meet. But it sounds like we'll have to wait until November 2016 -- when "Moana" will be officially released -- to find out.