This pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone to work through. It proposes extra challenges when your work is trying to create a Disney animated film! This year, teams at Disney have been working harder than ever to create Raya and the Last Dragon while also abiding by social distancing rules. Today, Disney announced that in a recent change, the title role will be played by none other than Kelly Marie Tran!
In an exclusive story to Entertainment Weekly, director Don Hall talked about how his team has been working hard over Zoom to create “the most beautiful animated film I’ve ever seen.” Hall also shared the image below which is a fully rendered image from the film! The image shows Raya and her companion Tuk Tuk, which is described as a part bear, part insect. I think the film looks absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to see it in its entirety!
While Raya was originally set to be voiced by Cassie Steele, Entertainment Weekly revealed that Kelly Marie Tran would now be taking on the role. I am personally thrilled to see Tran get this role because I wanted to see more of her than I did in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Tran’s portrayal of Rose Tico is one of my favorite parts of the trilogy and I feel like she was underutilized. Her resilient kindness and positivity are something that Disney and the world need more of and I’m thrilled to see it! I just know that she will do an incredible job bringing Raya to life when the film premiers in March 2021.