Fresh off his Saturday Night Live hosting gig, which featured multiple nods to his musical theatre background, Lin-Manuel Miranda joined Good Morning America to talk about his Disney endeavor.
Along with Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina, Miranda composed music for Moana, the latest animated Disney princess movie due in theatres next month. “It’s an interesting hybrid because in one sense it is an old-fashioned Disney musical, but it’s also an action movie with this amazing young woman at the center of it ... sailing the ocean,” says Miranda.
Miranda talks about writing for Dwayne the Rock Johnson, who voices a demi-god, and the limits of his vocal range—but the limitlessness of Johnson’s charm and appeal.
Miranda also spoke about the upcoming PBS docmentary on his Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Hamilton and his part in Mary Poppins Returns. He clarifies that the movie takes place 20 years after the original and that his character is not Bert, the role made famous by Dick Van Dyke, but a similar type.
Before stepping onto the GMA set, Ginger Zee interviewed Miranda backstage.
There, Miranda spoke about his excitement in joining the Disney legacy. “My two books on my piano bench when I was a kid were The Ultimate Disney Song Book and The Beatles Songbook,” said Miranda. “Those were the two that shared space, so to be a part of that tradition was pretty awesome.” He revealed that two of his favorite Disney songs are “Under The Sea” and “Whale of a Tale.”
Talking about Moana, Miranda couldn’t compare it to another Disney princess movie. “What’s fun about Moana is there is no love interest in this story,” said Miranda. “She reminds me most of, I guess I would have to say, Aladdin, honestly. She’s this badass who has a mission.”
Miranda saw the full film for the first time this past weekend and admitted he wasn’t ready for all that was in store. “Mark Mancina is one of the best orchestrators and songwriters around, so you see him quote different things from the songs in the score as the movie is happening,” he explained. “I was not ready to be knocked out by all the little reprises he does here and there of the music we all wrote together. It was really thrilling.”