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Disney Behind the Scenes: Making of Moana


Disclosure: This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, opinions and experiences are 100% my own!

As part of my recent visit to LA, I had the chance to get a behind the scenes peek at the making of Disney’s movie Moana. This movie hits theaters this November, and I can’t wait!


Our behind the scenes Moana experience was amazing!

It included some really neat previews of MOANA footage and a wonderful presentation with Head of Animation Amy Smeed, Head of Story Dave Pimentel, Story Artist Dave Derrick and Development Sr. Creative Exec Jessica Julius.

I love meeting the people behind these movies, and their joy and passion for creating this story was so evident.


It also included a visit with one of my favorite disney artists “Mini Maui” Animation Supervisor Eric Goldberg. You might remember that Eric is the Artist Behind the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin and I had the amazing opportunity to sketch with him once before. (see that here.) Mr. Goldberg is such a fascinating person to listen to. His history with Disney is so rich and interesting, and he is a very down to earth and lovable person.

Mini Maui

Goldberg shared with us the creation and development of “Mini Maui” which is the tattoo and conscience, if you will, of Moana character Maui (Voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). There was quite a bit of thought that went into this character, and according to Goldberg, his presence in this film evolved greatly throughout the creative process.

Here’s a look at just a few of the sketching that Mini Maui went through as they were determining his different movements, emotions and expressions:


Mini Maui Sketches

Here is my attempt at sketching Maui:


I absolutely loved the process and it was such an honor to sketch with someone so talented!!


Another exciting part of our behind the scenes experience was getting to see the amazing short INNER WORKINGS (below) that will play at the beginning of MOANA followed by a Q+A with Director Leo Matsuda and Producer Sean Lurie.Inner Workings

I’m a huge fan of Disney shorts, and this one is really neat! It is a quite random look at a man’s inner workings as he goes through emotions and finding balance/happiness in his life. Quite unlike any Disney short that I have seen before, but very fascinating!

Photo credits: Disney

Here’s a fun peek at the teaser trailer for Moana: 

Moana hits theatres on November 23rd!

Making of Moana

Meet the author – Keri Lyn

The creative and frugal mind behind She Saved for over 12 years now, Keri Lyn shares her adventures in parenting along with her love for family travel, country living and brand marketing. A self-proclaimed “brand loyalist”, Keri Lyn is known for her strong and enthusiastic voice when it comes to the products and brands that she loves. She Saved has become a community for like-minded consumers who appreciate saving money, time and sanity by getting the best deals on quality products and experiences.

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