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Disney just revealed the teen playing their live-action Moana alongside a talented Kiwi cast
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Disney just revealed the teen playing their live-action Moana alongside a talented Kiwi cast

"I'm honoured to represent young girls who look like me.”

Get ready to set sail on an exciting new adventure, because Disney has just announced the actress who will be playing their live-action princess, Moana!

Disney Studios dropped the news on Instagram this morning - Say hello to the incredibly talented Catherine Laga'aia.

“I’m really excited to embrace this character because Moana is one of my favourites,” Catherine said in a press release.

And she’s not just excited about getting the role – it’s personal. 

“My grandfather comes from Fa‘aala, Palauli, in Savai‘i. And my grandmother is from Leulumoega Tuai on the main island of ‘Upolu in Samoa,” she explained. “I’m honoured to have an opportunity to celebrate Samoa and all Pacific Island peoples, and to represent young girls who look like me.”

This is Catherine's first major live-action movie gig, following her fabulous performance in the Prime Video miniseries ‘The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart’.

Catherine’s gonna be joined by some epic company too. As we know, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is back to play the mighty demigod Maui.

Kiwi actors/actresses John Tui will play Chief Tui, Frankie Adams will take on the role of Sina, and Rena Owen will enchant us as Gramma Tala.

And while Auli'i Cravalho - the original voice of Moana - might not be in the live-action remake, she’s still heavily involved as a producer. 

Last year, she shared her excitement on social media: "I am truly honoured to pass this baton to the next young woman of Pacific Island descent to honour our incredible Pacific peoples, cultures, and communities that helped inspire her story, and I look forward to all the beautiful Pacific representation to come."

And if that’s not enough Moana updates for you, Disney’s also cooked up an animated ‘Moana 2’, with Cravalho and Johnson both reprising their characters.

Teaser trailers are getting released left, right and centre, but we’re holding out to see more of what Moana’s new journeys hold - animated and live-action!