In honor of its South Pacific setting, Disney's upcoming animated musical "Moana" will be translated into the Tahitian language.

The news was announced at a press conference in Pape'ete, Tahiti by "Moana" producer Osnat Shurer, along with film story consultant Hinano Murphy, who will help lead the translation team. It will be the first Disney film to be translated into Tahitian.

"We are so very excited that we, and the talented Disney Character Voices International team, are going to create this, and create this with Hinano," Shurer said at the press conference.

"Native languages, like Tahitian, are being lost; it is important to find new ways to excite the communities, elders, young adults and children here [in Tahiti] about our language," Murphy added. "Hopefully, this will also inspire other Polynesian islanders to find innovative ways to teach their languages. We hope this version will be used as a teaching tool for many decades into the future."

Casting is currently underway for actors to fill the film's voiceover roles. Newcomer Auli'i Cravalho voices the titular character and Dwayne Johnson voices the demigod Maui in the English language version.

"Moana" is due in U.S. theaters on November 23. A French translated version, titled "Vaiana: La Legende du Bout du Monde," will premiere in Tahiti on November 30. No release date is set yet for the Tahitian language version.

[via: Entertainment Weekly]

Photo credit: Disney