Pride in identity, Tongan royals and celebrity at Disney movie premiere

Tongan royals and a celebrity attended the celebration of  the premiere of Disney’s Moana in Los Angeles on Monday.

The 3D computer-animated musical fantasy adventure film was about the tale of a South Pacific island teenager who sails off on an adventure to save her village.

King of Tonga’s niece Hon Frederica Filipe wore her Tongan vala “with pride” during the function.

She described her Tongan traditional wear on social media  as  kie and black pearls belonged to her mother Princess Pilolevu Tuita.

Hon. Frederica said she was representing all the Pacific Islanders at the premiere.

Tongan beauty pageant Diamond Langi who was crowned as Face of Beauty International 2013 also attended the function.

She tweeted the experience she came through during the celebration “was magical”.

It was a precious moment for Hon. Frederica to meet and chatted with  Miss Langi and Auli’i Cravalho who is playing Moana in the movie.

Prince Tungi and Hon. ‘Etani Tuku’aho also attended at the famed El Capitan Theatre.

Before the blue carpet opened, attendees were treated to a short performance by the film’s stars Dwayne Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho, along with songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda and an array of Polynesian dancers.

Johnson who is playing Maui in the movie has a Samoan heritage and appeared in photos with the royals.

Cravalho was born in Oahu, Hawaii and she was an American singer.

The movie opens in theatres across the United States on 23 November.

The NZ premiere will be held at Auckland’s Hoyts Cinemas, at Sylvia Park, on December 13 – about two weeks before the movie is due to be released in cinemas around the country on Boxing Day.


Disney’s Moana was accused of cultural appropriation and has been attacked on social media for selling zip-up kid-sized Maui costumes featuring the “demigod’s signature tattoos, rope necklace and island-style skirt.

In September Disney said it would no longer sell a boy’s costume for a Polynesian character that some Pacific Islanders have compared to blackface, it said of the movie.


Disney withdraws Moana costumes as film sails into another storm of criticism

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