In 2016, the 3D computer-animated musical adventure movie, Moana, was released by Walt Disney Pictures as the 56th Disney animated feature. Auli’i Cravalho as the title character also saw the actors Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jermaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, and Alan Tudyk lend their voices to the characters they were each assigned to. The tale of Moana revolves around a Polynesian daughter to the village chief who has been chosen by the ocean to reunite a relic with the island’s goddess, Te Fiti. When a blight strikes the island, Moana sets off across the sea in search of a demigod known as Maui. It is the hope returning the relic to Te Fiti will help save the people. This story was inspired by Polynesian mythology, designed as a Disney production, that grossed over $645 million USD worldwide.
The Moana: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records on November 19, 2016. The original songs were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina, and Opetiaia Foa’i. The lyrics are in English, Samoan, Tokelauan, and Tuvaluan. When the album debuted on the US Billboard 200, it charted at number sixteen, then later peaked at number two. The design of the soundtrack features a mix of South Pacific cultural music, pop, and Broadway. Overall, the soundtrack features seven original songs, two reprises, and two end-credit versions of songs that were featured in the film. As far as certifications go, the soundtrack became double-platinum with Music Canada, as well as with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It also earned platinum with the Australia Recording Industry Association (ARIA), Recorded Music New Zealand (RMNZ), The Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry (ZPAV), and the United Kingdom’s British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Gold certification was achieved from France’s Syndicat national de l’édition phonographique (SNEP), Germany’s Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI), Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas (AMPROFON), and Recording Industry Association Singapore (RIAS). The two-CD soundtrack features forty songs on the first and nineteen songs on the second for a total of approximately two hours’ worth of audio play. The majority of the music is instrumental while fourteen of them include lyrical performances. Of these fourteen, seven of them made chart appearances around the world.
7. I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors) (featuring Rachel House & Auliʻi Cravalho)
(I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)) was a feel-good performance that made a chart appearance at number eight on New Zealand’s version of the Heatseekers Chart. When Moana encounters the spirit of an ancestor, she regains new confidence in herself to pursue her destiny only she knows she can do.
6. Shiny (featuring Jermaine Clement and Dwayne Johnson)
(Shiny) appeared at number six on the US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart was first performed as a Disney-style R&B show-off song that perfectly illustrated Tamatoa, the crabby antagonist in the movie until the demigod, performed by Dwayne Johnson, interrupts, only to have his efforts thwarted. Moana manages to dupe the crab with something shiny, rescuing herself and Maui as he takes the bait.
5. We Know the Way (featuring Opetiaia and Lin-Manuel Miranda)
On the US Billboard Hot 100, (We Know the Way) charted at number ninety-three as the fourth song from the Moana soundtrack that appeared on the music charts. Sung with English and Poylneisan influence, this song is all about having enough confidence to know thyself, and the way to where one needs to go without getting lost. In New Zealand, We Know the Way managed to peak as high as number two on its Heatseekers Chart but wasn’t quite able to break into its Top 40.
4. Where You Are
Performed by Christopher Jackson, Rachel House, Nicole Scherzinger, Auli’i Cravalho, and Louise Bush, (Where You Are) served as a song about appreciating the cultural background and heritage of where we come from. In the movie, On the NZ Heatseekers chart, Where You Are peaked at number six.
3. You’re Welcome (featuring Dwayne Johnson)
(You’re Welcome) was a song Dwayne Johnson performed as the demigod, Maui, as he addresses the title character, Moana. Fans of Dwayne Johnson, while he was the persona of “The Rock” with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), will remember on occasion he broke into song whenever mocking another wrestler or celebrity. Believe it or not, the former wrestler is capable of belting out a good tune and this single made it on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number sixty-five. On Australia’s official singles chart, it peaked at number seventy-seven and the Canadian Hot 100 had it chart at number eighty-five.
2. How Far I’ll Go (featuring Alessia Cara)
On the Moana soundtrack, Canadian singer Alessia Cara performed the hit single, (How Far I’ll Go), which is different than Auli’i Cravalho’s on-screen version for the movie. Cara’s version peaked as high as number three on New Zealand’s official singles chart, as well as number fifteen on Australia’s. In Canada, the song charted as high as number forty-six, at number fifty-six on the US Billboard Hot 100, and at number forty-nine on the UK Singles Chart.
1. How Far I’ll Go (featuring Auliʻi Cravalho)
In the movie itself, Auli’i Cravalho performed (How Far I’ll Go), which is different than Alessia Cara’s radio version for the movie. Overall, the song earned a nomination at the 2017 Academy Award for Best Original Song, as well as for the 2017 Golden Globe Award, but lost to La La Land’s City of Stars. However, it did earn the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Overall, there were forty-four different versions of this song so that it could reach a global audience. Cravalho’s version of the song peaked as high as number forty-one on the US Billboard Hot 100, at number forty-nine in Australia, at number fifty-eight in Canada, and at number fifty-eight in the UK. The single earned a five-time platinum certification from the RIAA and a double-platinum certification from the BPI.