Disney has released the official trailer for its animated film Raya and the Last Dragon, whose characters and setting are inspired by Southeast Asian cultures.
In the trailer, released Wednesday (January 25), the titular heroine (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) is seen putting together a warrior crew from different lands in Kumandra, on her quest to find the mythical “last dragon” to save her people.
But when Raya finally discovered Sisu the dragon (Awkwafina), it admits it’s “…not, like, the best dragon.” It adds, “Have you ever done like a group project but there’s like one kid who didn’t pitch in as much but still ended up with the same grade?”
See the trailer below:
The trailer also shows stunning details and colours along with impressive martial arts scenes. Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada serve as the movie’s directors, along with Paul Briggs and John Ripa. The script was written by Malaysia-born screenwriter Adele Lim, whose credits include Crazy Rich Asians.
With her starring role as Raya, Tran will become the first Southeast Asian actress to lead a Disney animated film. Others in the voice cast are Gemma Chan as Namaari, Raya’s nemesis; Daniel Dae Kim as Benja, Raya’s father; Sandra Oh as Virana, Namaari’s mother; Benedict Wong as Tong the giant; Thalia Tran as con baby Noi; and Alan Tudyk as Tuk Tuk, Raya’s best friend.
As NBC News reports, the voice cast has spurred mixed reactions from viewers, with some criticising the lack of actors from Southeast Asia and of Southeast Asian origin in the cast, vis-a-vis its emphasis on actors of East Asian heritage and Asian actors from North America and the UK.
Disney has announced that Raya and the Last Dragon will be available on Disney Plus with Premier Access in most markets, at the same time it hits theatres on March 5.