Childhood & Early Life
Auli'i Cravalho was born on November 22, 2000, in the small town of Kohala in Hawaii, US. She has a blend of Chinese, Native Hawaiian, Irish, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican origins.
When she was just 5 years of age, she started dancing hula. She lived with her mother, Puanani Cravalho, an administrative assistant, in Mililani, Hawaii. She was in her freshman year of high school at the Kapālama campus of the ‘Kamehameha Schools’ when she landed up with the role of ‘Moana.’ She performed as a soprano in the glee club of the school.
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According to Auliʻi, she did not go for audition of the role of ‘Moana’ initially, as huge volumes of submissions were already made by hundreds of girls, over ‘YouTube.’ Nevertheless, she was spotted by an Oahu talent agent during a charity competition, and the agent ultimately convinced her to go for the audition.
The filmmakers took auditions of hundreds of candidates from across the Pacific Islands and then finalized Auliʻi for the role. According to ‘The Walt Disney Company,’ she was the last girl to audition for the role.
Director John Musker is said to have mentioned during the casting press release of the film that Auliʻi’s display of fearlessness during the auditions led her to garner the role. According to him, she also shares certain qualities with ‘Moana.’ The cast was announced on social media by Dwayne Johnson, who lent his voice to the legendary shape-shifting demigod ‘Maui’ in the same film.
Although ‘Moana's face and personality had already been chalked out, the ‘Disney’ animators integrated certain mannerisms of Auliʻi in ‘Moana's behavior. The physical resemblance that she bore with the character was a sheer coincidence though.
Auliʻi, who wanted to be a ‘Disney’ princess since her childhood, was elated to play the role of ‘Moana,’ the sixteen-year-old daughter of village chief ‘Tui’ and his wife, ‘Sina.’
According to her, the character of ‘Moana’ was amazing. She also said that she could relate to the character.
She sang three songs for ‘Moana,’ namely, ‘How Far I'll Go’ (an Alessia Cara version was also recorded), ‘Where You Are,’ and ‘I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors).’ Of these, ‘How Far I'll Go,’ written and produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda and released on November 18, 2016, won a ‘Grammy’ on January 28, 2018, in the category of ‘Best Song Written for Visual Media.’ It also garnered nominations for the ‘Best Original Song’ at the 89th ‘Academy Awards’ and at the 74th ‘Golden Globe Awards.’
‘Moana’ was the 56th ‘Disney’ animated feature-film and was released theatrically in the US on November 23, 2016. The film, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, had Nicole Scherzinger, Jemaine Clement, Alan Tudyk, Rachel House, and Temuera Morrison in leading voice roles, apart from Auliʻi and Dwayne Johnson.
‘Moana’ garnered generally positive reviews from critics and went on to become a blockbuster hit, grossing a whopping US$ 643.3 million at the box office, against a budget of US$ 150 million. It earned several awards and nominations, including an ‘Academy Award’ nomination for the ‘Best Animated Feature.’
Auliʻi’s brilliant voice-acting as ‘Moana’ won her several award nominations. Of these, she won an ‘Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ award on December 21, 2016, in the ‘Best Animated Female’ category, an ‘Annie Award’ on February 4, 2017 in the ‘Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production’ category, and a ‘Teen Choice Award’ on August 13, 2017, in the ‘Choice Movie: Breakout Star’ category.
She also featured as ‘Moana’ in the 2017 short film ‘Gone Fishing,’ which is available for streaming on ‘Netflix.’
She sang songs from ‘Moana’ along with the 'Tiny Singer' Claire Ryann on the ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’.
She essays of the role of ‘Lillette Suarez,’ a high-school student, in the musical drama series ‘Rise,’ based on Michael Sokolove’s book ‘Drama High.’ The pilot for the drama was ordered to series by ‘NBC’ on May 4, 2017. The series, which has Josh Radnor playing the lead role of ‘Lou Mazzuchelli,’ premiered on March 13, 2018.
Auliʻi will be seen reprising the voice role of Moana in the upcoming American 3D computer-animated science-fiction adventure–comedy film ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2.’ The film is a sequel of the 2012 film ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ and is slated to be released by ‘Walt Disney Pictures’ on November 21, 2018.
She idolizes legendary yesteryear British actor, model, dancer, and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn and often follows her style of fashion.
After finishing high school, she wants to take up law or any subject associated with biology.
Auliʻi is fond of swimming, paddling the canoe, surfing, and playing water polo.