On the week of the NZ premiere of Disney’s Moana (which opens nationwide Boxing Day), we were given the privilege of chatting with some of the fine talent that power the movie.
Musician extraordinaire Opetaia Foa’i gave us his thoughts and feelings on his contribution to the soundtrack and the process of merging traditional song with contemporary elements. Rachel House and Temuera Morrison also shed light on their experiences and comment on the cultural impact this film will have. Lastly, Jemaine Clement detailed his time voicing a glam-rock crab as well as the Māui stories he told with Taika Waititi.
Check out Liam Maguren’s interviews below…
“I didn’t go to university or anything like that, but I feel that’s not how we learn in the Pacific. We learn, we pass down from generation to generation, and I believe that totally, and that’s how I did my research. I went to the people and collected information from people’s interviews of elders. And then I got an understanding of what our ancestors, the amazing feats they had done, and they way they lived, how they passed down from generation to generation via chants.”-Opetaia Foa’i
Rachel House & Temuera Morrison
“Choosing to do this film, I thought it would be quite thrilling to see us for a change in such a mainstream way, I think. I thought it will be absolutely thrilling to see our people everywhere for a change, and also in a positive light.” -Rachel House
“I heard criticism about the way Māui was looking and I was kind of there as well also. But I said my piece to the right people and I just left it at that.” -Temuera Morrison
“The Māori version of Māui is very dark. There’s a lot of dark stuff so it wouldn’t be a Disney film. There would be terrifying parts in it… the New Zealand version would have the whole story and it would not be fun for kids a lot of it, but it might be interesting and exciting.” -Jemaine Clement