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Lin-Manuel Miranda on MOANA, STAR WARS, and the Disney Movie He Wants to Make

Of all the things to love about Disney’s latest animated feature, Moana, there’s one part in particular we’re excited for you all to see: a scene-stealing moment with a giant, bedazzled crab named Tamatoa, voiced by Jemaine Clement. The monster crab outshines the competition with his straight-up David Bowie number, “Shiny,” penned by none other than madcap musical genius of stage and screen, Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Hamilton and In the Heights creator had a lot of fun whipping up the dizzyingly fun number, mostly thanks to the Flight of the Conchords‘ star’s incredible bravado and Bowie impression.

“Here’s the thought process behind that song,” Miranda explained to us, “I found out Jemaine Clement was playing Tamatoa and I thought, ‘uhhh, Flight of the Conchords!‘ and then I went, ‘uhh, the David Bowie tribute!’ and then I went, ‘uhh, I’m writing a David Bowie song for Disney!”

How he went “full-glam rock,” as he put it, was only the tip of the iceberg of our wide-ranging conversation with the multi-talented multi-hyphenate. And while you’ll have to tune into Monday’s episode of Fangirling! to find out about his encounter with “Weird Al” Yankovic, you’ll still get a bunch of interesting tidbits out of this, including further thoughts on Moana, how he ended up writing a Star Wars cantina tune, and the movie he and Disney honcho John Lasseter are discussing he make (spoiler alert: it’s all very exciting).

And if you missed the rest of our discussion with the Moana team, you can check ’em out here!

Moana hits theaters Wednesday, November 23rd — are you going to check it out? Let us know in the comments below.

Images: The Walt Disney Company


Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor of Nerdist, creator and co-host of Fangirling!, and a frequent over-user of Twitter!

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