Moana is a 3D computer-animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. The 56th film in Disney’s animated features catalogue, it is directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.
The film features Auli’i Cravalho as Moana and features Dwayne Johnson, also known as the “The Rock”, who is the highest-earning Pacific Islands actor. The film is scheduled to be released by Walt Disney Pictures in November.
Disney is known to only work with the world’s best and most elite performers, actors and singers.
Hailing from a small dot in the vast Pacific Ocean, Pasifika Voices is made up of 18 of Fiji’s finest voices plus two young men from the Solomon Islands. It is led by Head of Performing Arts at the USP Oceania Centre, Igelese Ete.
USP’s Vice-Chancellor and president, Professor Rajesh Chandra said it was a historic moment for Pacific talent that singers and artists had been recognised in Hollywood at the highest level.
“I understand that the producer, composer, and director have all given rave reviews of this recording. This recording by Disney demonstrates that our music and arts programmes produce world-class talent.”
Professor Chandra said Pasifika Voices had been a major part of USP’s graduations for the past 10 years and was made up of students from all around the region, led by exceptionally talented staff.
An elated Mr Ete said the contract was “a feat of great magnitude” and an acknowledgement of the talents of Pacific people.
“It is fair to say that Hollywood Disney Animation is the ‘Olympics’ of the entertainment world, especially for children.”
Moana Disney’s producer, Osnat Shurer, was so inspired by Pasifika Voices that even with a strict embargo in place, she could not contain her excitement. As she left Fiji with the Disney crew to return to Hollywood, she tweeted: “Amazing choir recording for our score. Thank you from #Moana.”
With the directors in awe of the sound and spirit of the choir, famed Hollywood film composer Mark Mancina said in an email to Mr Ete: “Everything I’ve heard so far has been incredible.”
“This will lead to what will be the first ever official red carpet movie premiere of Hollywood proportions for the global release on November 23,” Ete said.
“It will be led by our very own vocal stars of Pasifika Voices and rumour has it the Hollywood mega-superstar, Samoan/Pacific Islander Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson will be attending.”
“We’re finally able to celebrate by the lifting of the embargo and where we can introduce these amazing singers from Pasifika Voices.”