Disney’s Moana JR. is a 60-minute musical based on the 2016 Disney animated movie Moana, about an adventurous teenager who embarks on a daring mission across the Pacific Ocean to save her people. With the once-mighty demigod Maui as her unlikely companion, Moana sets sail to fulfill the quest of her ancestors and discover her own destiny. The musical features songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina.
Moana JR. celebrates the rich history of Oceania and is based on the beliefs and cultures of real people. In creating the original film, the producers at Disney Animation formed an Oceanic Trust. This group of anthropologists, cultural practitioners, historians, linguists, and choreographers from islands including Samoa, Tahiti, Mo’orea, and Fiji was integral in the creation of the film, providing feedback and notes on character design, song lyrics, and the depiction of culture onscreen. This respect and careful attention to detail was carried forward in the creation of Moana JR. for the stage. We encourage you to involve the Pacific Islander community in your area and to use the show as an opportunity to educate and engage your cast and audience alike in learning about Oceanic culture.
As with all Disney shows, we encourage casting that represents your community. Your production will benefit from a cast that includes a variety of races, genders, abilities, and body types, so approach your casting process with care and an open mind. We believe that musicals allow young people to engage with stories, characters, cultures, and communities they might not otherwise be exposed to and that all young people should have the opportunity to engage with every story.
The Director’s Guide provided in the ShowKit® offers important guidelines for your production to ensure that you are celebrating Oceanic culture in a respectful manner. In addition, each production of the show is supplied with a Pronunciation Guide, and Choreography Video demonstrations, providing information, research, and tips to ensure the show you are about to see is a reverent celebration of Oceanic culture.
Excerpts from the resources can be downloaded from the MTI website here.