Raya and the Last Dragon has been percolating at Walt Disney Animation Studios for quite some time now. The new fantasy epic promises to capture the same kind of magic and wonder that audiences experienced with recent Disney animated ventures like Moana and Frozen. Will audiences be as captivated by this new adventure as they were with those fantastical endeavors from the Mouse House?
Here’s everything we know about Raya and the Last Dragon, starting with the very first trailer released by Disney. Watch it below!
WATCH THE FIRST RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON TRAILER
This initial trailer for Raya and the Last Dragon gives us a very good idea of what we can expect from the upcoming animated feature. The story will center around the titular character of Raya, who will end up searching for the last dragon in an effort to reunite the many disparate tribes of her land. The trailer opens with a sequence that feels directly inspired by the iconic opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It looks like Raya will be exploring a number of dangerous landscapes in her journey to find the last remaining dragon.
Raya and the Last Dragon will star Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as the lead character, and she will also be joined by Awkwafina as Sisu, the last dragon who embodies the element of water. According to the official plot synopsis, Sisu is able to transform into a human form. It doesn’t look like we get to see this in the first trailer, so Disney might be holding off for that reveal in the second, more in-depth trailer.
Disney has also released the first official poster for Raya and the Last Dragon. You can get a look at that right here:
It is intriguing to see Disney taking a somewhat more serious tone with this first look at Raya and the Last Dragon. Normally, their animated features sell themselves on their lighter qualities, but this trailer is emphasizing a far more direct and even darker tone than what a lot of folks are used to with Disney animated feature films. Will that tone be a selling point or something that actually makes family audiences a little reticent to check this out?
Disney seems committed to releasing Raya and the Last Dragon in theaters as well. The marketing prominently displays that the film will be in theaters this upcoming March. Disney recently announced that it would be shifting its focus to streaming content. They even moved the new Pixar film Soul from its November release date and are premiering it directly on their streaming platform, Disney+. With the fate of movie theaters looking grimmer by the day, could Raya and the Last Dragon end up following the same path? Or will it be one of the first big theatrical releases in 2021?
It is hard to say exactly how compelled audiences are going to be to go see Raya and the Last Dragon. As an original story that features no recognizable intellectual property, it is possible that audiences won’t roll the dice on something so unknown even when March rolls around. However, if people are feeling comfortable with returning to movie theaters, this new Disney animated feature could be poised to be a breakout hit if it resonates strongly enough with audiences.
Regardless, this first look at Raya and the Last Dragon looks exciting. The animation style certainly feels like it belongs alongside the new era of Disney animated features which started with Tangled, but there are some truly gorgeous landscapes and environments in this first look. It is going to be interesting to see just how radical the design of Sisu and her human form are since Disney is being coy with her design. You get a hint of her at the end of the trailer, and you can also faintly see her in this piece of concept art:
We hope the best for Raya and the Last Dragon. It is great to see such fantastical stories continue to be told in the field of animation, and the cast alone is reason to make this appointment viewing for whenever (and however) it releases. We’ll definitely be checking this out once March rolls around.