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Blu-ray Release: 4 Things To Know About The 'Moana' Soundtrack And Deleted Songs

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Disney Moana animated movie 

Disney’s MOANA comes to Blu-ray March 7 (available now on Digital HD), and director Ron Clements and producer Osnat Shuerer reveal some interesting details about the music written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancini and Opetaia Foa’i, and why certain songs were left out of the movie.

The MOANA Blu-ray version contains a deleted song not heard in the Disney movie including one sung by Lin-Miranda Miranda’s cast from his “Hamilton” play. At a recent event celebrating the release of MOANA for home entertainment, director Ron Clements and producer Osnat Shuerer revealed there were many songs composed for the animated movie that didn’t make the cut.

1. Deleted Songs

The MOANA producer explains the quality of the songs was not the reason for cutting the composition.

“There were no bad songs,” says Shuerer. “There was never a bad song coming out of this team. We didn’t use all the songs because the story changed and it didn’t fit in with character motivation.”

One of the songs cut was a duet between Moana and Maui, but “story-wise it didn’t fit in,” says the director.

Both the director and producer admit it was hard to cut songs because they were all good. Shuerer points out that MOANA had less deleted songs than any other movies they worked on.

2. Animation Process

The Disney filmmakers pointed out that animation movies have an advantage over live action movies in that they can work out story and music prior to production.

Clements explains that in animation, scratch tracks and story reels are created using crew as the voices to “hatch it all out.” They had 9 screenings to work everything out.

“The goal is to get it as solid as we can get it before we go into production," Shuerer explains. “That’s when things get expensive.”


3. First Song

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the song “We Know The Way” in New Zealand in 2014. Initially the song opened the film, but it was moved to a later scene in the film.


4. Jemaine Clement

The crab originally wasn't going to sing, but when Jemaine Clement was cast as Tamatoa, they couldn't resist having the FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS actor sing a tune.

The other motivation was to create a bigger stake and tension when Moana and Maui encounter the crab.  

The song "Shiny” was the last song composed for the movie by Miranda and it replaced the duet. Miranda tailored the song "Shiny" to Jermaine’s talents based on watching FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS, but David Bowie had just passed away so the song was also a nod to the iconic musician.

Ron Clements also revealed that sequence was created from scratch, and the scene didn't have any basis in the Polynesian culture. 

“This one, we gave ourselves freedom to play.” 

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