HomeAAPI ActorsAnimated movie influenced by Southeast Asia comes to Disney

Animated movie influenced by Southeast Asia comes to Disney

Walt Disney Animation Studios is bringing a Southeast Asian-influenced story to the big screen, reports Entertainment Weekly.

Raya and the Last Dragon will star Crazy Rich Asians’ Awkwafina as Sisu the dragon and Degrassi: The Next Generation actress Cassie Steele as Raya.

According to Deadline, the story features Raya, from the mythical land of Kumandra, and her journey to find the last dragon in the hopes of saving the kingdom from a “dark, sinister force.”

“It’s inspired by Southeast Asia, both in its themes of community and hope, and in its design,” said producer Osnat Shurer.

The original film is written by Crazy Rich Asians scriptwriter Adele Lim, who had a CRA reunion with Awkwafina during the movie’s reveal announcement at Disney’s D23 Expo on August 24.

“Our world was created by dragons, before they left they hid a gift for the people. A powerful but dangerous gift. One that could save an entire kingdom or bring it to an end. The question is what will we find? Hope of destruction?” voiced a narration at D23.

Highlights from the presentation are below.

“Raya is ready to meet a magical water being who breathes fog through her nose, flies by riding the raindrops, and has a gem that channels this amazing huge power,” explained Steele, who is of Filipino descent. “When Raya first meets [her], she’s in human form and needs Raya’s help to reclaim her power to become her true dragon self.”

“At its heart, our movie is about the transformative power of community and having hope even in the face of overwhelming darkness,” said Lim, who was born in Malaysia.

Raya and the Last Dragon is scheduled to open in theaters November 25, 2020, and fans are already excited.

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