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Making 'Moana': The special effects behind the movie

CNET's Brian Tong visits Disney Animation Studios to check out the tools and tech used to create "Moana."

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Tenacious teenager Moana (voice of Auliʻi Cravalho) recruits a demigod named Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) to help her become a master wayfinder and sail out on a daring mission to save her people. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker, produced by Osnat Shurer, and featuring music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i, “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
DISNEY

Walt Disney Animation Studios heads out to sea with its next computer-generated feature film, called "Moana."

It's a coming-of-age story about a girl named Moana, voiced by newcomer Auli'I Cravalho, who sets sail on a mission to save her people. Along the way she meets the mighty demigod Maui, voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

I had a chance to sit down with visual effects supervisor Kyle Odermatt and head of effects Marlon West to get a deep dive on how they created Disney's most effects-filled movie ever.

Water is wet. You might take it for granted, but every particle of water has been built from the ground up.

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Water isn't only a backdrop for the film. It's also one of the stars. West talks about how they gave water "life."

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Disney Animation also relies on their Hyperion Renderer and the Matterhorn engine from previous movies, like "Big Hero 6" and "Frozen." Te Ká, the living volcano, was made possible in "Moana" thanks to evolutions in those technologies.

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"Moana" will hit US theaters on November 23, 2016.