I was invited by Disney to attend the LA Red Carpet Premier and Press Event for the #MoanaEvent, #ABCTVEvent and #StuckInTheMiddleEvent. This special invitation is an all expense paid trip, but all magical opinions are mine alone.
It’s not everyday you get to sit down for an Exclusive Interview with Moana Directors Ron Clements & John Musker. Together Ron and John have directed some of our favorite Disney movies, such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, and The Princess and the Frog. Plus, a big congratulations on the Golden Globe Award nomination for Moana for Best Animated Feature Film!
Exclusive Interview With Moana Directors Ron Clements & John Musker
Movies such as The Little Mermaid and Hercules have been in my childhood collection. Now I share them with my own children. Being able to sit down with the directors of Disney’s newest animated film MOANA sure was a treat. I can only imagine the stories I will be able to tell my children when they are older about the time I sat down with the people who helped create on of their favorite movies.
It’s been 7 years since we have had Ron Clements and John Musker create another Disney phenomenon! The last time was when they worked together on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. I can definitely say that together they are a force to be reckoned with.
Disney’s Moana really took on a new challenge for directors Ron and John. They wanted to incorporate some of the new computer generated animation into the film, helping everything seem more realistic. By combining CG animation and hand drawn details, they were able to capture movements of water, sky, and hair in a more realistic way.
They had a vision in mind when it came to Moana and if there was something that they wanted done, but didn’t know how to accomplish it, they would find someone who did. The end goal was for them to make the movie as detailed as possible when it came to its surrounding and characters.
Ron: The idea of a living ocean that has a personality of a monster, a lava monster, some of those things particularly where character animation and effects animation merged, that isn’t done usually.
A lot of research was done prior in even starting the movie. Both directors wants to make sure that they were capturing the essence and the true nature of the Polynesian culture. They began their research five years ago, right as they were pitching their idea to Disney animation. All through the 3 years of directing the film they kept in touch with the Polynesian people and culture. Making sure that everything was kept true and as concise as possible.
John: We got to sail in Fiji and navigators and we really tried to connect with those people. We really try to connect with the culture and learn how proud they were of their background as the greatest navigators the world has ever seen.
Ron: And their connection to the importance of respect for nature, respect for the environment and also the interconnectedness and extended families. The idea of your heritage and your legacy.
We also learned during our interview that when this project first started, the story line was all about the demigod Maui, but then shifted on creating a story about Moana. This happened as both Ron and John learned more and more about the Polynesian culture. They learned about stories of ancestors who were navigators and began building a story around Moana, which means Ocean.
Keeping Maui from becoming front and center was a bit difficult they shared. There focus was on Moana and her story, but definitely wanted Maui with her. If you’ve seen the movie then you can definitely understand how that would be hard. Maui is just a likable guy, even when he doesn’t make the best choices.
Ron: It was really a hero’s journey. We thought of a hero’s journey for Moana. She’s on a quest to save her people. She faces numerous obstacles. She’s resilient. She’s also empathetic, which is an important part of who she is and fearless and that she really finally proves herself and becomes the person that she’s meant to be.
As Disney always does with its animation, they add these amazing easter eggs that fans can find throughout the movie. Moana is no exception and believe me when I say that there are tons of them in the movie. As director Ron Clements would say “You got to kind of look at the right part of the scree to find them”.
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Visit the official MOANA website here: http://movies.disney.com/moana
If you haven’t done so yet, make sure to go see Moana in theaters now!!
What is your favorite scene from Disney’s Moana?