By: Alec Concejero
Disney debuted the first trailer for its new animated film Raya and the Last Dragon, introducing people to Raya (voiced by “Star Wars” actor Kelly Marie Tran), a young girl who is to hunt the last dragon in order to restore peace to her divided world of Kumandra with different ASEAN looking tribes.
The trailer follows Raya as she makes her way through a cave of sorts alongside her armadillo pal, TukTuk. Filipino’s would also easily recognize the Arnis/Eskrima/Kali sticks that Raya uses in the 2-minute teaser trailer.
Using martial arts skills she’s spent years practicing, Raya encounters a mysterious villain she’s forced to fight in her quest. Raya will be the first Southeast Asian Disney Princess to ever be seen on the big screen.
Raya and the Last Dragon is currently slated to hit theaters in March, but like nearly every movie this year, that date could change due to the pandemic. The film is directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, and it was written by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim. But as viewers watch the trailer, it’s evident that the movie will be action-packed and not your typical Disney movie. The masks worn by one of Raya’s foes in the trailer look very similar to those worn by characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Avatar-esque film is definitely set to blow the audience out of the water. “My whole life, I trained to become a guardian of the Dragon Gem, but this world has changed. And its people are divided. Now, to restore peace, I must find the last dragon,” Raya says in the trailer while fighting the masked assailant.
The official synopsis for Raya is: “Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than a dragon to save the world—it’s going to take trust and teamwork as well.”
The world of Kumandra has been split into five regions with different clans of people, who once lived in harmony with dragons. However, evil monsters called the Druun invaded the world, and the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Five hundred years later, the Druun are back, but one dragon was left behind in case the threat ever reappeared. During her journey, Raya finds the dragon in the form of an old woman named Sisu (voiced by Awkwafina), and the two must reclaim Sisu’s water dragon self and stop the Druun for good.
Raya and the Last Dragon will be released in Southeast Asian cinemas this March 2021.