Disney has released a brand new featurette that takes a behind-the-scenes look at Raya and the Last Dragon. Titled "Crafting Raya," it offers a glimpse into what it took to bring the movie to life. Walt Disney Animation Studios' latest is set to arrive both in theaters and on Disney+ through Premier Access in March.
The video offers a new look at the upcoming epic fantasy-adventure. It features stars Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Awkwafina (Ocean's 8), as well as the filmmakers. They discuss what inspired the story, characters and martial arts in the movie, in addition to how it was crafted by the artists, talent and filmmakers who were all working from home, given that it was finished during the shutdown Hollywood faced in 2020. Tran had this to say in the video.
"It is so exciting to be the first Southeast Asian Disney Princess. It is a big deal. Raya is one of the fiercest characters."
Kelly Marie Tran was not originally set to play the movie's lead. In August of last year, Disney announced that Tran had taken the place of Cassie Steele, who had originally been tapped to voice Raya. The movie was significant, as Tran became the first actor of Southeast Asian descent to lead a Disney animated movie. In addition to offering some details on the movie, the featurette contains a good deal of footage, giving a strong sense of the world that has been crafted to tell this tale.
Raya and the Last Dragon takes place in the fantasy world of Kumandra. It centers on Raya, a lone warrior who must track down the legendary last dragon. They must try and stop an evil force that has returned after 500 years to once again threaten her homeworld.
The cast also includes Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Jona Xiao, Sandra Oh, Thalia Tran, Lucille Soong, Alan Tudyk, Gordon Ip, Dichen Lachman, Patti Harrison, Jon "Dumbfoundead" Park, Sung Kang, Sierra Katow, Ross Butler, François Chau and Paul Yen. Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada are directing, with Paul Briggs and John Ripa co-directing. Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho are on board as producers. Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim wrote the screenplay.
Like Mulan before it, Raya and the Last Dragon will be available on Disney+ with Premier Access in most Disney+ markets. That means it will cost subscribers an additional $29.99, but they will be able to watch the movie for as long as they have the service. It is not merely a 48-hour rental. The movie will also be released in select theaters on the same date, March 5, 2021. Disney plans to do this with select movies in the coming months until the box office returns to normal. Raya and the Last Dragon is available for pre-order now via the Disney+ streaming app. Be sure to check out the new featurette for yourself.