Disney’s heroines continue to be their own heroes in Raya and the Last Dragon.
The animation king has gotten better about making their female characters proactive in recent years, but their long, storied history gives them plenty of room to backslide. That’s why it’s still refreshing to see them offer up something like Raya, which promises a warrior, a dragon, and not a single love interest/prince to save the day.
Raya has enough going on without all that. Her home is growing more divided and vulnerable, and she realizes that something drastic must be done to save it. So she heads off to find the last dragon, hoping that with its help she can save their world.
As with most of Disney’s animation offerings, there’s a whole group taking up director chairs, with Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada leading and Paul Briggs and John Ripa co-directing. Hall has been working in Disney animation for years, with directing credits for Big Hero 6 and Winnie the Pooh under his belt. Briggs and Ripa are the usual sorts who bounced around their art department for many projects and are getting bumped up to some directing duties. It’s Estrada who stands out here, having burst onto the filmmaking scene with 2018’s Blindspotting. That was decidedly not an animated Disney film, but hopefully, that’s a sign that Raya will continue to push the studio away from their norms.
Only two voice actors have been announced so far: Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina as the titular Raya and dragon, respectively. That’s an excellent duo, and when combined with what looks like this action-packed story, it looks like Raya is one to look forward to.
Raya and the Last Dragon is directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada and stars Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina. As of publishing, it is scheduled for a theatrical release on March 12th, 2021, but since returning to theaters is still up in the air, keep up to date with its release date here.
Are you crossing your fingers for a theatrical release? Let us know in the comments!
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