Disney film Moana released in te reo Māori

  • Te Ururoa Flavell
Maori Development

Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell welcomes the first screening of the block buster movie, Moana in te reo Māori. 

The animated film has been re-voiced in the Māori language and will be released in cinemas around Aotearoa next week.

“This is a movie that was widely enjoyed by whānau and this version will build on that popularity whilst promoting te reo Māori. 

“It is a hugely valuable resource that will be a taonga for many years,” Mr Flavell says.

The original script for Moana was penned by Taika Waititi and released by Walt Disney pictures, in America in 2016.  It is the 56th Disney animated film that went on to gross more than $643 million worldwide.  The film also was nominated for two Academy Award nominations; one for the Best Animated Feature and one for the Best Original Song.

Taika Waititi, the original script writer of Moana, along with his whāngai sister, Tweedie Waititi of Matewā Media worked with Disney to dub Moana in te reo Maori.  Te Māngai Pāho has also provided support for the ambitious project.

Mr Flavell, an advocate for te reo Māori, saw Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori (the Māori Language Act) passed through Parliament in 2016.  This Act was New Zealand’s first law with Māori text prevailing as the language of law. 

“Te Ture mō Te Reo Māori 2016 was a milestone in Aotearoa’s history.  It reflects the aspiration for te reo Māori to be a living language in all areas of our life.”

“Today we celebrate our reo in a block buster Disney moving reaching film screens around the country. We celebrate for our reo, we celebrate for our rangatahi, mokopuna and our Māori language speakers and supporters worldwide. 

“My mokopuna and I are so excited to be watching Moana in te reo Māori together,” Minister Flavell says.

“Internationally and nationally, a blockbuster movie in te reo Māori normalises and promotes our indigenous language – which goes a long way to having our reo be an everyday language.”

The release of Moana in te reo Māori, coincides with Te Wiki o te Reo Māori/Māori Language Week, which runs from 11-17 September this year.