Disney's newest princess Moana needs no love interest

New Disney princess Moana (left), voiced by Auli'i Cravalho, and demigod Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson.
New Disney princess Moana (left), voiced by Auli'i Cravalho, and demigod Maui, voiced by Dwayne Johnson.PHOTO: WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS
Auli'i Cravalho, who voices the new Disney princess Moana.
Auli'i Cravalho, who voices the new Disney princess Moana.ST PHOTO: YIP WAI YEE

New Disney princess Moana does not have a love interest in the upcoming animated film of the same name - and that is just fine with the actress who voices her.

Hawaiian teenager Auli'i Cravalho, who is in Singapore to promote the movie, believes it is in fact "very important" that the character does not get a romantic storyline here.

"Moana doesn't need a love interest to go on this journey and help her in finding out who she is. What's important is that she she is her own person," she says.

Speaking to the regional media at a press conference on Tuesday (Nov 8), the bubbly 15-year-old adds that she is single herself. 

"In Hawaii, when you wear the flower on the right side, it means that you are not married and have no boyfriend," she says with a laugh as she points to the Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid, Singapore's national flower, tucked behind her right ear. 

In the animated film set in the fictional South Pacific island of Motonui, Moana, who is the tribal chief's daughter, sets off on a mission across the oceans in search of a faraway island with powers that can help save her own family and land from destruction. Along the way, she befriends demigod Maui, who is voiced by Dwayne Johnson.

But Cravalho is not immune to the charms of men.

At the mention of Johnson, she immediately starts gushing. 

"Dwayne is so cool. He's really, really nice too. Not that I thought that he would be mean, but he's had so much success and can still be so sweet and wonderful. I mean, he gave me flowers."

The best thing about being a part of the film Moana, she says, is the fact that the film talks about Polynesian culture. 

"I am of Polynesian descent, so this film is very close to my heart. It's inspired by our wonderful culture, talking about how navigators go about wayfinding by the stars, and that's what my ancestors did too. I'm so incredibly proud of this film and I can't wait for everyone to see it."

yipwy@sph.com.sg

Moana opens in cinemas on Nov 24.