You might notice some similarities between Auli’i and Moana, but these similarities in appearance are actually coincidences. Disney had already completed Moana’s character prior to choosing an actress.
Instead, she looks like an actual girl because Disney wanted Moana to have a realistic body type. Yay, Disney! It’s taken long enough, but there’s finally a Disney princess that doesn’t have a wildly unrealistic (and very unhealthy) waist circumference.
Just how much did Disney love the idea of Johnson voicing Maui? So much so that the Disney animators modeled parts of Maui after him. Take a look – notice how Maui’s eyebrows and dimples look strikingly similar to Johnson’s?
Did you spot any of Disney’s Easter eggs when you watched Moana? If you did, you have a great eye. It not, here are some of the Disney characters to look for the next time you watch Moana: Flounder from The Little Mermaid and Sven and Olaf from Frozen.