With RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET and FROZEN II being released in consecutive years, this is the first time in history that Walt Disney Animation Studios has put out two sequels in a row. But the legendary animation division will be back in a big way with original content in 2020. Its 59th big screen release in over 80 years, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON is a new adventure story heavily inspired by East Asian mythology.
While the film has been in the works since early 2018, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON was only officially announced in August 2019 during Disney’s D23 Expo. But the event did a lot more than just tell us that the project exists and has a name. So, without further ado, here is what we know about the movie so far.
Raya and the Last Dragon Release Date
In recent history, Walt Disney Animation Studios has very much found a home in November, with 10 of the company's last 15 movies arriving in theatres just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. This includes releases like WRECK-IT RALPH, FROZEN, BIG HERO 6 and MOANA — and now RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON will be joining the club as well. The movie is set to come out in March 2021.
Raya and the Last Dragon Trailer
Though there was some very early RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON footage showcased at D23 Expo 2019, sadly, that material has not officially made its way online, and it’s probably going to be a minute before we actually get to see a trailer. While it’s not totally inconceivable that a first public look at the movie will be made available over a year in advance of its release, especially if it's previewed along with theatrical showings of FROZEN II, it’s probably more likely that the first RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON trailer won’t appear on the internet until sometime in 2020.
Raya and the Last Dragon Story
Based on a screenplay by Adele Lim, who is one of the writers of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON will be transporting audiences to the fantastical, mythical land of Kumandra. While dragons used to be plentiful in the region, they have all begun to disappear, and the search is on to discover the last one. Our hero on this journey is Raya, a fearless warrior, and the creature she will discover is named Sisu, a water dragon who has the ability to take human form as an old woman.
Raya and the Last Dragon Directors
Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins were selected by Walt Disney Animation Studios to direct RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON, which is a notable development for the filmmakers. The duo was previously employed in the story department for past Disney releases, but this will be their first time directing a film.
Raya and the Last Dragon Cast
As noted above, we really only know about the two main characters in RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON — and we already know the actors who will be playing the roles. Cassie Steele, who is a Canadian performer best known for her role on the show "Degrassi: The Next Generation," will be voicing Raya in the film, while Awkwafina (CRAZY RICH ASIANS, above) has been cast as Sisu. The film is one of two Disney projects that Awkwafina has coming out in the next couple of years, as she has also been confirmed for an unknown part in Marvel Studios' SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS.
Check back with the AMC Scene for more on RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON!