Hawaiian-Language Moana: The World Premiere Is Free, And On The West Side

Reserve tickets now for the free world premiere of Moana, at Ko Olina on June 10, at sunset. The public premiere will be part of Ko Olina’s annual World Oceans Day Celebration.

The Hawaiian-language version of Moana was produced with help from UH-West Oʻahu’s Creative Media Department, and Nicole Scherzinger, who was born in Waianae, reprises her role as Sina in the film. Plus Maui works at Costco! So perhaps it’s fitting that the movie premiere on this side of the island?

Local Hawaiian language experts translated the film’s dialogue from English to Hawaiian. But, I learned at a private event, their work didn’t quite stop there.

Challenge #1: They had to make sure that their Hawaiian translation had the exact number of syllables as the original English script, or the timing of the movie would get thrown off.

Challenge #2: If the dialogue was for a character that was appearing on screen while they said their lines, the motions made with their lips when speaking the Hawaiian translation had to match the motions in English, or the whole thing would look like a poorly-dubbed Kung Fu movie.

Challenge #3: If the translation was for one of the songs, challenges #1 and #2 still apply, but the lines of the song still have to rhyme.

I’m a little nervous just thinking about it.

As you’ve probably already heard, Auliʻi Cravalho also reprised her role as Moana. This was a little nervewracking for the producers of the Hawaiian version, because Cravalho doesn’t speak Hawaiian fluently, and in the months leading up to the production was living in New York City, filming a network TV show.

But, even of the midst of a career-making opportunity, Cravalho’s dedication to the project showed. She studied in (limited) spare time, working via video chat with a kumu to improve her ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. People who worked on the production raved about her performance.

We’ll all get to see for ourselves June 10. Remember, it’s free, but only a limited number of tickets are available, so sign up now!