World News

Raya and the Last Dragon: Disney Releases Trailer of its First Film Featuring South-east Asian Princess

Walt Disney Animation Studios released the trailer of their next film Raya and the Last Dragon on Twitter on Wednesday. Presented by the makers of Moana and Frozen, the film is slated to release on March 12, 2021 in theatres across USA.

The Entertainment Weekly reported in August that the animation film is the first ever Disney Animation feature film to be developed during the pandemic from remote locations.

Directed by Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada, the film is revolves around Raya, a warrior princess who belongs to the fantasy world of Kumandra. The trailer sees Raya, set out on a journey in the quest to find the last dragon, the only solution to re-uniting her home and the other lands. As the guardian of the dragon gem, she, along with her steed Tuk Tuk travel across lands, desert and tropical, only to come face-to-face with Druun, the antagonist.

The film focuses on the Southeast-Asian cultures, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Philippines.

Raya and the Last Dragon will be Disney Animaton Studios’ first tryst with a Southeast-Asian princess as a Disney princess.


The film has a resemblance to the 2012 film Brave with Raya’s journey bearing strong resemblance to that of Merida’s. The film features the voices of Southeast-Asian actor Kelly Marie Tran as Raya, and Awkwafina as the last dragon in human form, Sisu.

While work on it had begun in March, the crew revamped their methods and worked with equipment at home, coordinating through video calls.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ chief creative officer Jennifer Lee said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, “They both (directors Don and Carlos) saw the potential for this film and had a strong vision for the story, especially for our lead character played by the wonderfully talented Kelly Marie Tran. And no small feat, directors Don and Carlos, writers Qui and Adele, and the entire crew of 400 Disney Animation artists are making this film together, while separated and working from home.”