When you wish upon a star
When your whole musical goal for the last twenty years has been to promote the music and culture of the South Pacific and you get that magical phone call from Disney and the Producer says - “ Think Lion King, set in the South Pacific 2000 years ago and we would like you to write the music” you can start to feel like you are in a Disney movie because things like this don’t happen in real life – But it did!
In June 2013, when the call came from Moana Producer Osnat Shurer, to discuss the Disney musical animated feature film set in Polynesia, Disney animations studios had already bought and studied all the Te Vaka albums and knew they wanted Opetaia on the team. Mark Mancina (Lion King, Tarzan and more) had been signed on for the score but Lin-Manuel Miranda had yet to be approached when we made our first trip to Disney animation studios to be immersed in the magic of Disney and the Moana story. Everybody we met was excited and inspired by this project. The Directors, John Musker and Ron Clements (Little mermaid, Aladdin and more), had already been on the project for a couple of years, had taken several trips to various South Pacific Islands and had fallen in love with the culture and the people of the South Seas. Opetaia was so excited, inspired and moved by the whole experience, he began writing “We know the way” on his way home from this first of many trips to the US.