Kelly Marie Tran Cast in Lead Role of “Raya and the Last Dragon”
Disney animation is working on the first animated film set in Southeast Asia, Raya and the Last Dragon. Raya, the central character of the film, searches the land of Kumandra for the last dragon.
Kelly Marie Tran first entered the world of Disney through her role as Rose in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Now, she will voice Raya in the latest of Disney’s animated adventures.
Tran is the first actress from Southeast Asia to star in a film by Disney Animation Studios. “Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee shared in a statement to EW. “They both 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 [Nguyen] and Adele [Lim], and the entire crew of 400 Disney Animation artists are making this film together, while separated and working from home.” (comicbook.com)
Development of the film has been interesting since it is being made during the COVID pandemic. This has presented some challenges for the film makers, but because Raya is animated they have been able to move forward.
“I don’t know if Disney has ever made a movie that reflects so much what is happening with the world outside,” López Estrada detailed. “Even though our team has been working on this movie for years and years and years, it’s going to feel like an idea that we had maybe a month ago because it talks so much about the themes and the questions and the hope that’s happening today and also the lack of hope, and this wrestling with all these really, really important emotions that are happening right now.”(comicbook.com)
The Warrior Princess, Raya, is slated to hit theaters March 12, 2021.
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