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The MOANA Team Dishes on Diversity and Working with Lin-Manuel Miranda

The world needs a feel-good Disney movie right now, amirite? And it’s, truly, the exact perfect moment for a film like Moana, the mouse house’s latest intrepid story of a young girl who must recognize her fate and blaze her own trail to get there. Starring newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as the eponymous chieftain’s daughter/future leader of her island, she must venture out upon the waves to not only find demigod Maui (played joyously by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) but also herself (as every good Disney hero is wont to do!). With a cast of exciting (and adorable) characters and music you’ll fall head over shell for, we naturally had a lot of excited questions for the team behind the work.

So we sat down with directors and writers John Musker and Ron Clements, as well as Cravalho and Moana songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda (you know, that guy who created Hamilton and In The Heights?! No big.) to talk about the cultural representation of the film, its very capable leading lady (who isn’t a princess!). And, yes, we did do our fair share of geeking out over Miranda himself with his colleagues… don’t tell him—it’s probably a bit embarrassing.

And keep it locked here on Wednesday because we’ve got even more with Lin-Manuel Miranda. We’re talkin’ Star Wars, if he wants to write a song for a Marvel film, and what’s next for him and Disney now that they’ve made such a beautiful match.

Oh and make sure you see Moana when it hits theaters on November 23rd, 2016.

Images: Disney

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor of Nerdist, creator/co-host of Fangirling!, and a frequent overuser of Twitter!

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