A toddler Moana in Walt Disney's Moana. (Courtesy Photo)
Last week at the Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, Moana producer Osnat Shurer and co-director Ron Clements met and greeted media and offered a unique behind-the-scenes look of the film’s upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release.
“We are tremendously, tremendously proud of this film,” says Shurer of Moana, which is nominated for this year’s Oscar for Animated Feature Film, before saying, “We’re happy to be releasing this for in-home views.”
Shurer also mentions that one of the flick’s theme songs, “How Far I’ll Go,” is to be performed live on stage sometime during the broadcast.
Auli’i Cravalho, who provides the voice and vocals for Moana, sings this beautiful melody. Music and lyrics for the song are provided by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It’s nominated for Original Song at this year’s Oscars.
“We are very, very excited for both nominations,” admits Shurer after Clements mentions the extensive traveling and promo that both, along with co-director John Musker, have experienced for the last month or so.
Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foaʻi also provide other music and lyrics.
The film’s Blu-ray and DVD carry a lot of special, behind-the-scenes footage, ranging from the research the producer and directors did (including traveling to the Pacific Islands) and how the majority of the film’s theme songs were assembled, among a variety of things.
“We did all of this for the home version of the film,” says Shurer.
One of the highlights of the behind-the-scenes footage is how the cast of the movie is placed in rough, comical spots of answering personal, funny questions. For example, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (who voices Maui) is asked what he loves to eat. And he replies asking if the interviewer means on a regular day or on cheat day.
Johnson finally answers, “Pizza.” This is one of those things that you just gotta see to believe, and laugh out loud.
Another prominent aspect of the behind-the-scenes footage, which the BD/DVD carry, is how the directors, producer and other staff members visit the Pacific Islands to learn more about their culture and history.
One of the great things we learned based on what Clements said is that Moana was mainly inspired by the prolific explorers that navigated the majority of the Pacific Ocean and went on to discover many Pacific Islands.
Clements says the story of the movie was the biggest challenge they faced. “Yes, we got worried at one point,” he says.
In the beginning, they couldn’t quite get the story right when it came to having both Moana and Maui as characters in the movie, according to Shurer.
“We start with the script, like all movies do,” says Clements. Shurer goes on to mention that once the cast came and voiced some of the scenes, it was easier to keep writing and modifying the story.
Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk also provide voices for characters.
The Moana Blu-ray / DVD “continues the journey with hours of additional content full of fun that includes a completely new mini-movie, the charismatic cast, famous filmmakers, a dynamic musical equipment, beautiful people and cultures of the Pacific Islands, a song that was out, deleted scenes and much more.”
Moana is now available at home via Digital HD/3D and Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) and will release on Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on March 7.