2018 Hawaii International Film Festival: Disney’s Moana ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi- Review

Disney’s Moana ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi


As most of us know, Disney’s Moana was the new hit movie. I myself maybe watched the film 10 or more times. When I found out that the viewing and panel discussion of Disney’s Moana in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi was going to be at the Hawaii International Film Festival, I knew I had to go.  I loved the original film of Moana so I was extremely interested when they announced they were remaking the film in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.

I was so excited to attend the panel discussion about Disney’s Moana in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi at the Hawaii International Film Festival. The panel featured many people such as, Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, the voice of character Gramma Tala, Kalehua Kawa’a and the script translator, Kamuela Yim. The panel consisted of Q&A sections and some brief clips of the movie. The brief showings of the film was featured completely in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.

I thought the discussion provided a lot of information to the audience. They spoke about all of their encounters and how they went about transitioning the film. They also discussed many challenges that they faced during the transition of English to ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. Many English phrases are different in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi so they had to use similar phrases in Hawaiian with the same meanings. Throughout the screening of clips, they also provided English subtitles.

This is the first time Disney has recreated a film in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and it makes Moana the 46th language it has been translated into.

The translators were very proud with their work. I think it is amazing that Disney recognized Hawaii and gave the people a movie in their native language. They plan on distributing the film for educational reasons and hope it can expand from there. I commend the translators and everyone who worked on making this possible.

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