Moana: Te reo version of Disney film finds its Maori star

Matewa Media and Disney have found the voices for the te reo Māori version of the movie 'Moana'. 

A newsreader and a high school student have picked up main roles in the Maori Moana.

Recording starts this week for the revoiced film, with the Disney fairytale being completely remade in te reo and Hawaiian. 

Taika Waititi, who wrote the original Moana script, and his whangai sister Tweedie Waititi had partnered with Disney to dub the blockbuster film.

The Maori Moana is due in cinemas for Maori language week.
SUPPLIED

The Maori Moana is due in cinemas for Maori language week.

Tweedie announced this week that they had found their local Moana. Of 250 applications, the New Zealand producers picked a first-time actor for the main role. Jaedyn Randell, a year 12 student from Waikato, would play the part.

READ MORE:
There's going to be a Te Reo Maori version of Moana
Disney's Moana: how Kiwis made it happen

This was Randell's first acting job. The 16-year-old Tainui descendant was a "raw musical talent", Tweedie said. In her role, Randell would work alongside music director Rob Ruha and Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords.

Te Kāea

Disney have found the voice actors for the te reo version of Moana.

Tweedie admitted they almost missed Randell's tape. After watching the hundreds of auditions, the producers decided to re-watch all 250. On second viewing, they saw Randell. "We watched them twice. Accidently skipped her the first time. Luckily that second decision was made, we almost missed her," she said.

Taika and performance director Rachel House launched a search early in June to find a Maori Moana. All of the original New Zealand cast would reprise their roles, including actors Oscar Kightley and Temuera Morrison.

Maori Television newsreader Piripi Taylor would step into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's shoes as Maui. Tweedie said there was simply no better fit.

Jaedyn Randell (Tainui), a 16-year-old student from Waikato, is the te reo voice of Moana.
MAORI TV

Jaedyn Randell (Tainui), a 16-year-old student from Waikato, is the te reo voice of Moana.

Amanda Ashton would play Moana's mother Tui.

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Recording kicked off on Monday. All going well, Tweedie said it would be finished in three weeks but there were complications. Taika was working on the project from the US and joined meetings via Skype while Clement recorded his part from Europe.

The Maori dubbed Moana was due to be in cinemas for Maori language week in September. 

Maori Television newsreader Piripi Taylor will step into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's shoes as Maui.
MAORI TV

Maori Television newsreader Piripi Taylor will step into Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's shoes as Maui.

SPEAK MAORI/YOUTUBE

Moana is being dubbed into te reo Māori.

 - Stuff

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