14-year-old Native Hawaiian Auliíi Cravalho voices Disney’s newest princess, MOANA.

Meet the Next Disney Princess – and Get a First Look at Her Movie, Moana!| Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Pictures, Movie News, Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson

People Magazine:

Like many little girls, Auli’i Cravalho of Oahu wanted to be a Disney princess.

From baby time to now, I wanted to be a Disney princess and then I wanted to be a singer or an actress,” the 14-year-old recalls.

But when Disney Animation began searching for a girl to voice the lead in its next princess movie Moana– about a young teen from 2,000 years ago who sets sail to fulfill her ancestors’ quest – Cravalho didn’t think she was good enough to audition.

Meet the Next Disney Princess – and Get a First Look at Her Movie, Moana!| Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Pictures, Movie News, Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson

Native Hawaiian Auli’i Cravalho, 14, voices Disney’s newest princess

I was getting through my freshman year, and there were already so many great submissions over YouTube,” the 14-year-old Native Hawaiian tells PEOPLE, which features an exclusive first look at the movie in this week’s issue.

Good thing a fairy godmother (a.k.a. an Oahu casting agent) was looking out for Cravalho. After the agent discovered the teen’s singing talents during a charity competition, Cravalho was whisked off to Los Angeles, where directors Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin cast her opposite Dwayne Johnson in the animated film, set for release on Nov. 23, 2016.

Meet the Next Disney Princess – and Get a First Look at Her Movie, Moana!| Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Pictures, Movie News, Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson

Meet the Next Disney Princess – and Get a First Look at Her Movie, Moana!| Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Pictures, Movie News, Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson

Moana is such an amazing character,” says Cravalho, who lives in the town of Mililani with her mother, Puanani. “She’s brave, she is so empowered, she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to get it, and I think that’s something that I can relate to as well. I just love watching how she goes along in this wonderful movie and grows as a person and helps her culture along the way.

Cravalho is especially excited to work alongside Johnson, who will play a demigod named Maui whom Moana encounters during her travels.

Meet Moana: Disney announces its Ffrst Pacific Islander princess

NBC:

On the heels of “Frozen” frenzy, Walt Disney Animation Studios announced its first Polynesian princess, a spirited and adventurous teenager named Moana, in Disney’s 56th animated film of the same name. Moana will also be the first Pacific Islander princess from the studio.

Described as a CG-animated comedy-adventure, and set in the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana’s adventure takes her on “an action-packed voyage, encountering sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore,” according to Disney.

The film will be directed by Ron Clements and John Musker who also directed “The Little Mermaid,” “The Princess and the Frog,” and “Aladdin.”

Moana is indomitable, passionate and a dreamer with a unique connection to the ocean itself,” Musker said. “She’s the kind of character we all root for, and we can’t wait to introduce her to audiences.”

Most exciting to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) audiences who welcome but are sometimes wary of representation from mainstream outlets is that the screenplay was written by the talented and funny Maori-Russian-Jewish New Zealand writer, director, actor, comedian, and painter Taika Waititi.

Waititi is the director of the 2010 film, “Boy” — which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and is the highest grossing local film ever in New Zealand, and the 2004 short, “Two Cars, One Night” — which was nominated for an Academy Award. He also played Tom Kalmaku in the 2011 film, “Green Lantern.” He also wrote the 2003 play, “Untold Tales of Maui,” a clever updating of the many legends of the trickster demi-god Maui.

Moana,” the movie, is expected to be released in 2016.