Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Disney's Moana: NZ premiere date announced

New Zealand fans of Disney's first Pasifika princess - Moana - will get their first glimpse of the film in mid December.

The NZ premiere will be held at Auckland's Hoyts Cinemas, at Sylvia Park, on December 13 - about two weeks before the movie is due to be released in cinemas around the country on Boxing Day.

The film follows feisty Moana Waialiki, a 16-year-old who is a keen adventurer and voyager with a rare and special connection with her namesake - the ocean.

A spokeswoman for Walt Disney Studios NZ told the Herald on Sunday guests at the local premiere will include Kiwi actors Temuera Morrison and Rachel House, who star as the voices of Moana's father, Tui, and grandmother, Gramma Tala, respectively. Kiwi comedian Jemaine Clement, who voices the character Tamatoa - a giant magical crab with a penchant for all things shiny - is yet to confirm his attendance, but will be giving media interviews earlier that day.

Musician and composer Opetaia Foa'i will represent award-winning Pacific band Te Vaka, which helped to create the soundtrack in Moana.

The NZ premiere will follow the world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre at Hollywood Boulevard on Monday night, local time. A blue carpet will be laid down instead of the traditional red - paying tribute to the film's other key character, the sea.

The film's big stars, Hawaiian teenager Auli'i Cravalho - who is the voice of Moana - and Dwayne The Rock Johnson, who stars as the demigod Maui, will both attend.

Cravalho will be wearing a dress made by Kiwi designer Kiri Nathan, who revealed on Facebook, in September, that she had been approached by Disney to create a custom-made dress for the teen.

Singer and dancer Nicole Scherzinger, who plays Moana's mother Sina, will also be there; as will New Zealand's Morrison and House.

Members of the Tongan royal family will also get to see the film first as special guests at the event.

- Herald on Sunday

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