As part of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month in May, the Disneyland Resort Diversity Resource Group COMPASS (Community of Pacific Islanders, Asians and Allies) hosted a conversation for cast members with the film’s directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, and producer Osnat Shurer, who shared the research, collaboration and process for creating “Moana.”
Over the five years “Moana” spent in production, the filmmakers took many research trips to the Pacific Islands, where they met and consulted with linguists, archeologists, anthropologists, natives and artists to learn about and capture the beauty of the culture and the people. Clements pointed to a suggestion they heard in Tahiti, “know your mountain,” which means “knowing your history, lineage, who your ancestors were, going back almost to the beginning.” The attention to these details helps make “Moana” and many other Disney projects, both onscreen and around the world, as authentic as they are entertaining.
“Our goal as a Diversity Resource Group is for cast members to leave feeling inspired, knowing that our company embraces diversity,” said Allie Kawamoto, member of the COMPASS leadership team. “To be proud of the part they play in bringing these stories to life each day.”