*Disney’s latest animated film, “Raya and the Last Dragon” is an adventure to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where Raya is tasked with finding the legendary last dragon to stop an evil force that has destroyed her world.
EUR correspondent Briana Wright, had the chance to speak with the directors, producer and writers about the film’s cultural influence and real world relevance. One of the things making this film unique is it’s largely influenced by Southeast Asia. From the characters’ clothes to the folklore-turned-fantasy, the film allows you to dive head first into their culture.
Writer, Qui Nguyen, discussed how they gave their own original ideas an Asian twist to create an epic story.
“This was our chance of creating a legendary hero using the cultures, the landscapes and things of Southeast Asia and as a person from that culture, it’s such a tremendous dream come true,” she shared.
Imagination meets reality when it comes to the themes of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” Director, Don Hall, described the theme as “unity through trust” and talked about how timely this message is today.
“The world we live in, the times we live in, it is a message the world needs right now,” he declared.
The film serves as greater representation for Asian-Americans and women alike, as Raya and her friend Namari are strong, female, heroic, characters. Writer, Adele Lim, is an Asian-American woman and mentioned she hopes young girls take away something more from the film.
“I hope the larger message of this movie – for children – all around the world, not just in Southeast Asia, is that your face and your story absolutely deserves to be celebrated,” she explained.
Tune in to the premiere of “Raya and the Last Dragon” premieres in select theaters and on Disney+ with Premiere Access on March 5.