Celebrating the Making of Moana #MoanaBluray

Posted on: March 9th, 2017by

I was honored to be invited to the #BeOurGuestEvent, a Disney press junket for Beauty and the Beast, Moana Bluray, and other Disney and ABC TV programming. As a guest, my expenses were covered in return for a series of articles about my experiences and reviews of the programming.


Featured image for a blog post about the Making of Moana


What a magical few days it has been in LA to celebrate not only the release of Beauty and the Beast in theaters and the Moana Bluray DVD release, but also a number of other Disney and ABC shows being launched or returning to TV. I have so many stories to share and you’ll be able to find them all by clicking on #BeOurGuestEvent. Today, I’m excited to tell you about our Polynesian dinner honoring the Moana Bluray DVD release and recognizing all that went into the creation of such a beautiful movie. You can get your Moana Bluray DVD now through our affiliate link on Amazon.


Moana Movie painting


Walt Disney Studios Animation Building

Monday evening, after meeting with the producers, Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, from Milo Murphy’s Law (story coming March 20), we headed for the Walt Disney Studios Animation building. What an awe-inspiring building! I couldn’t help but stop in my tracks to take in all the beautiful artwork depicting scenes from different Disney films. You can see my pictures in this Facebook album. In one open area, there stood the raft that Moana used in her journey to return the heart of Nafiti. How incredible!


Moana raft inside the Walt Disney Studios Animation building


We passed through the Walt Disney Studios Animation building and made our way to the theater. In true Disney style, we looked up and found Mickey Mouse ears lighting up the ceiling above our seats.


Mickey Mouse ears on the ceiling of the Walt Disney Studios Animation building theater.

Mickey Mouse ears on the ceiling of the Walt Disney Studios Animation building theater.


Not long after settling into our seats we were greeted with the music of the Polynesian islands. As Moana choreographer, Tiana Lirufau played the drums, two of her dancers performed in front of us. I quickly turned my camera to video mode and started recording as I carefully made my way to the end of the aisle to get a better view. You can watch the demonstration in the video below. Click on this Facebook post or the word “share” to share the video with your friends.


The Making of Moana

After the Polynesian dance number, we learned so much about the making of Moana. Once by one, the creative team behind Moana talked about their contribution to Moana before introducing us to a segment that you too can watch on the Moana Bluray DVD. You can get your Moana Bluray DVD now through our affiliate link on Amazon.


Pictures of Moana producers Ron Clements and John Musker


Moana Director Ron Clements and John Musker

What was fascinating to learn about the Moana movie was how researching and visiting the Polynesian islands completely changed the story of Moana for directors Ron Clements and John Musker. While the initial focus of Moana was on Maui, the shape-shifting demigod, after meeting with archeologists, anthropologists, linguist, sailors, navigators, and villagers it became clear that there were bigger stories to tell and the focus of Moana changed to include those stories, the traditions, and the culture of the islands. Ron says, “The movie really is inspired by the research.”


Eric Goldberg, Disney animator

You may recognize the name, Eric Goldberg. After all, he was the animator behind the Genie in Aladdin. In the Moana movie, Eric animated the mini-Maui, the name given for the character that moves about on Maui’s chest and back between tattoos throughout Moana. Eric says that technology has developed in such a way now that you can “combine 2-D and CG animation in a way that had never been done before.” As John Musker, Moana director, had said earlier, “We’ve been used to doing hand drawn films that kind of detail we couldn’t do with our drawn films but now with CG you can get all that texture and all those little shells and all the detail, the richness of that.” It really is amazing the level of detail, we as viewers, get to see in this animated film.  In one of the Moana Bluray bonus features you can learn more about what went into bringing Maui’s moving tattoo to life.


Producer Osnat Shurer

What’s one of the biggest questions we always seem to have about Disney movies? We always want to know if there will be a sequel. I asked the question will there be a sequel to Moana. Here is what Osnat shared with me about a Moana sequel.

The way we work with sequels here at Disney Animation Studios is that, the filmmakers will after a little rest come back into development, and talk, and think about what they’d like to do next. If there’s a really compelling story from within a world that we’ve already explored, we’ll look at doing a sequel. It will rarely come from the outside. It’ll come from the inside out.


Neysa Bové, Moana Costume Designer

Neysa was also gracious to share with us details about what went into the design of the Moana costumes. For example, did you know that just for the necklace alone there were over 20 different designs sketched out and talked about. We also learned that Neysa wants little girls to be as excited about the costumes and dresses as she is. She often asks herself, “If I was a little girl, what would I wanna wear? … would I be excited to wear that?” Given the number of girls that we’ve seen dressing as Moana, it looks like her ideas are definitely loved by girls. You can learn more about the creation of the costumes on the Moana Bluray DVD. You can get the Disney Kids Moana Singing Necklace or Disney Moana Girls Adventure Outfit on Amazon with our affiliate link (Disney Kids Moana Singing Necklace, Disney Moana Girls Adventure Outfit).


Our Polynesian Dinner

As if meeting the creative team behind Moana wasn’t enough we were also treated to a Polynesian-themed dinner. Once again Tiana greeted us. When Osnat interviewed Tiana about her involvement with Moana we learned how while born in the United States Tiana was still raised to reflect the cultures of her heritage. Tiana explained to us the dance moves in the Moana movie and how each move has a connection to nature. The movement of the hips represents the fluidity of the water. While a certain movement of the hands shows the connection the connection of the islanders to the land. Take a look at our FB live video below to see learn the dance moves from Moana and click here to be sure to share the FB post with your friends.



After the dance demonstration we feasted on foods such as Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Bacon-wrapped Dates, Chicken Panko Sliced, Thai Noodle Salad, and more. I savored every bite. It was delicious, but I also took time to take more pictures of the Walt Disney Studios Animation building which you can see in this Facebook album.

Picture of the food from a Moana Polynesisan dinner


It was a magnificent and beautiful night, but our Disney fun did not end there. Our final stop for the day was a screening of Born in China. We’ll be telling you about that on April 3. Tomorrow, our #BeOurGuestEvent series continues with a look at the new Tangled TV series, Tangled:Before Ever After. (Read that story here.) You can get caught up with our #BeOurGuestEvent series anytime by clicking on #BeOurGuestEvent.


Moana Movie Bluray DVDHave you watched the Moana Bluray DVD with your kids?

You can get your Moana Bluray DVD now through our affiliate link on Amazon. Click over to learn how Make it a Special Family Movie Night with the Disney Moana Blu-Ray DVD.


What did you and your kids learn about the Moana movie that was fascinating?


Please note Jersey Family Fun does participate in affiliate programs. If you use our link to purchase products, a small commission does go to Jersey Family Fun to support our free services to readers, but this does not affect your price.


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Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! Did you know that boys behave better when they are out exploring? As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally.She has been a Jersey Girl for 20+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 8+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name.She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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