When Moana opens in theaters next year, it’s Auli’i Cravalho you’ll hear as Disney’s newest princess.
The 14-year-old from Oahu is voicing the lead role in the South Pacific-set animated film about a spirited teen who takes to the seas to find the long-lost island that can connect her to her ancestors.
“From baby time to now, I wanted to be a Disney princess, and then I wanted to be a singer or an actress,” Cravalho told People, which is featuring a first look at the film in this week’s issue.
Cravalho caught the attention of an Oahu casting agent after singing at a charity competition, and is now starring opposite Dwayne Johnson (who voices a demigod named Maui) in the film, which opens in theaters Nov. 23, 2016.
IT’S OFFICIAL: After months and months of worldwide casting calls, we’ve finally found our next DISNEY Princess… #MOANA. I’m pumped to welcome 14yr old Auli’i Cravalho of Mililani, Hawaii to our project. What’s amazing about this story is that she didn’t think she was good enough so she never auditioned. Fortunately, one of our Oahu casting agents discovered her singing at a charity competition and the rest is history. * An awesome lesson to all young kids out there… work hard, have confidence in yourselves and never think you’re not good enough because you never know what the future holds. Congratulations Auli’i! Can’t wait to work with you and watch you bring this new Disney Princess to life. #YesThatsMeOnTheRight #HisNameIsMaui #HesADemiGod #AndHePutsMoanaInHerPlace #SoHeThinks #DisneyAnimation #MOANA #TimeToSing
“Moana is such an amazing character,” she added. “She’s brave, she is so empowered, she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to get it, and I think that’s something that I can relate to as well. I just love watching how she goes along in this wonderful movie and grows as a person and helps her culture along the way.”
See more from Cravalho in the video below, and head to People for more on her and Moana.