The announcement that the hit song “Baby Shark” is being translated into the Navajo language, also known as Diné, has kept Manuelito Wheeler, Director of the Navajo Nation Museum, busy fielding calls from all over the world. He said the reason behind the overwhelming response is simple.
“It’s 'Baby Shark,' man”.
The song’s popularity is undeniable. It has more than 4 billion views on YouTube, spent months on Billboard’s Top 100 Chart and has been stuck in the heads of kids and parents all over the world for the past few years. That made it a natural choice for the Navajo Nation Museum’s next translation project.
“This is something that Navajo children already know. They already know this song, they sing it, they already participate.”
Wheeler reached out to Pinkfong, the producers of “Baby Shark”, in early September. The company responded the next day and was ready to get to work.
“When I told people this was moving forward, it was happy disbelief,” Wheeler said.
This will be the tribe’s fourth collaboration with an entertainment company. “Star Wars” and “Finding Nemo” were previously translated into Diné.
A translated version of Clint Eastwood’s western classic “A Fistful of Dollars” will be released in the spring. Wheeler said it was important the next project focus on Navajo children who are learning the Diné language.
“If we don’t do something consciously as a tribe, we run the risk of permanently losing our language.”
Auditions will be held at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, AZ on Sunday, Dec. 8 starting at 12 p.m. and will go through 5 p.m. Producers are looking for child actors between the ages of 6 and 9 for the role of Baby Shark. They are also looking to cast adult males and females between the ages of 35 and 80 for the roles of Mommy Shark, Daddy Shark, Grandma Shark and Grandpa Shark.
Wheeler said he is already in negotiations with a studio for the next translation project. He can’t reveal details but said the reaction may be even bigger.
“It’s going to blow everyone’s mind. People are going to freak out.”