A young Florida girl’s rendition of an original Disney song from the hit movie, Moana, went viral on Facebook after her mom shared it online. Just over a week after Michelle Neshin uploaded a video of her 4-year-old daughter, Sophia, singing the award-nominated Moana song, “How Far I’ll Go,” to her personal Facebook account, the “over-the-top” rendition has had millions of views. ABC News first reported on Sophia’s “passionate” performance at her pre-kindergarten graduation ceremony in Miami, Florida. Sophia sang the Moana song with the rest of her classmates, but according to Michelle Neshin, “everyone else was sweet and calm,” while Sophia “was not.”
Michelle Neshin said in an interview that her daughter has a “huge, huge” personality — one that really showed through during the pre-k’s closing number from the 2016 Disney animated film Moana. While Michelle Neshin videoed Sophia’s performance as she danced, made arm gestures, and really belted out the lyrics to “How Far I’ll Go,” so did the other parents; some of whom later admitted that they had stopped videotaping their own children to capture footage of Sophia. Neshin, who said that Sophia’s “over-the-top emotion” during the Moana performance wasn’t surprising, did say in Monday’s interview that the reaction it got was surprising.
The group of pre-k children sang their own version of the Moana song, “How Far I’ll Go,” in early June, according to People Magazine. Sophia’s mom posted the video on her personal Facebook page around 6:30 p.m. on June 10. Since then, the nearly two-minute mobile phone video has gone viral, and as of Wednesday, June 21, the video has garnered over 14 million views from a combination of Michelle’s own Facebook friends, along with all the media attention the video has received, and the hundreds of thousands of Facebook shares, likes, and comments. Although Sophia was reportedly “scared” because there were so many people in the audience to watch the pre-k class get their diplomas, Michelle Neshin explained that Sophia “quickly got over that,” as the class sang the last song, that was supposed to be mellow — a “sweet number” to say goodbye and to thank everyone.
Sophia explained that her favorite part of the graduation ceremony was singing the Moana song, adding that it “made her happy.” The critically-acclaimed Disney animated feature film appeals to all ages, according to a review on Eagle Eye, but parent reviews on Common Sense Media overwhelmingly agreed that kids around Sophia’s age “really liked it,” which might explain Sophia’s “excitement” and “passion” during the onstage sing-along. Michelle’s viral video of Sophia continues to get views and comments on Facebook, and the 28-year-old Florida mom is still in “utter disbelief” at Sophia’s emotion while singing the Moana song, and the millions of views that her video has received.
Michelle Neshin posted an update on her Facebook page five days ago and shared a Babble Facebook post that called Sophia’s rendition of “How Far I’ll Go” fierce, adding that she put her classmates to shame.
Said Michelle, “Sophia has no idea what all the attention means, but a friend did send her a cookie cake, and she thought that was the best thing ever!”
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney]