Disney animated films weren't always packed to the gills with stars. Think back to The Little Mermaid — can you name a member of its voice cast? Don't get me wrong, they were all outstanding, but they weren't exactly household names. Ditto Beauty and the Beast, with the exception of Angela Lansbury in the role as Mrs. Potts. Things started to change with Aladdin, when megastar Robin Williams signed on to voice Genie, and these days Disney films like Frozen and Zootopia are pretty star-studded. Now, there's the voice cast in Moana , the studio's latest film, which features an impressive mix of newcomers and megastars.
Moana has taken an interesting route with its casting. The film's lead and titular heroine is portrayed by a 15-year-old Hawaiian native who had exactly zero film or television credits before winning the role — a pretty impressive feat. For the rest of the cast, Disney surrounds the newcomer with a number of familiar faces from the worlds of movies and music, including the highest paid actor of today. They also fill several prominent roles with actors who are native to Polynesia; the area of the world where the film takes place. So take a look below at the full voice cast of Moana.
Auli'i Cravalho As Moana
The talented teen is sure to become a big star after making her debut in the film.
Dwayne Johnson As Maui
The biggest movie star in the world is also half-Samoan, and even has some Polynesian tattoos that are similar to those of his character, Maui.
Rachel House As Gramma Tala
The New Zealand native portrays Moana's grandmother in the film.
Temuera Morrison As Chief Tui Waialiki
Another New Zealand actor, Morrison is Moana's overprotective father.
Nicole Scherzinger As Sina Waialiki
Not only is the former lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls a massive pop star, she's also originally from Hawaii, further adding to the cast's authenticity. She plays Moana's mom.
Jemaine Clement As Tamatoa
The Flight of the Conchords member hails from New Zealand, and plays a giant crab monster in the movie.
Alan Tudyk As Hei Hei
You likely recognize Tudyk's face from a number of acting roles, but his voice should be familiar, too, as he's had roles in Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia. Here, he plays a dim-witted rooster.
Oscar Kightley As Fisherman
The comedian and actor is yet another New Zealand native given a role in the film.
Troy Polamalu As A Villager
The former Pittsburgh Steeler is of Samoan descent, and has a small role in the film.
Puanani Cravalho As A Villager
Auli'i isn't the only member of the Cravalho family making her debut in the film — her mom shows up, too.
Moana's commitment to casting actors of Polynesian descent, as well as their blending of first-timers with established stars, makes the film one of Disney's most impressive voice casts ever.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures