From the creators of Big Hero Six and Moana comes Raya and the Last Dragon, an exciting new animated film about one girl’s quest to find a mystical beast and stop an ancient evil race of monsters from enslaving her home.
According to a Disney press release shared with Girlfriend, Tran will play Raya, “a lone warrior [who] must track down the last dragon to stop the Druun—monsters who have returned after 500 years to once again threaten her homeworld, Kumandra.”
And, on top of the film being the first Disney movie inspired by Southeast Asia, Kelly Marie Tran is also the first Southeast Asian actress to lead a film from the company. The film is co-written by playwright Qui Nguyen and Crazy Rich Asians scribe Adele Lim, and in collaboration with a Lao visual anthropologist and the Southeast Asia Story Trust.
Speaking with EW, Tran said that her character is unlike any other Disney princess.
“She is someone who is technically a princess but I think that what's really cool about this project, about this character, specifically is that everyone's trying to flip the narrative on what it means to be a princess,” Tran said. “Raya is totally a warrior. When she was a kid, she was excited to get her sword. And she grows up to be a really badass, gritty warrior and can really take care of herself.”
On her journey, Raya will be joined by her trusty steed Tuk Tuk—a creature director Don Hall describes as a fuzzy bear meets “an insect version of an armadillo.” Here’s a pic of the two together.
Kelly Marie Tran will star alongside Awkwafina when Raya and the Last Dragon premieres on the 12th of March, 2021. In the meantime, we’ll be here, reminiscing the time she brought her dad with her to the Oscars 🥺.