Teaser Trailer for Disney's RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

The first trailer for Walt Disney Animation Studio's Raya and the Last Dragon has arrived. Originally meant to open in theaters this Thanksgiving, the Mouse House's fifty-ninth animated feature is now set to premiere next March. Of course, this isn't the first bit of drama the movie has had to deal with as Disney Animation announced in August that three new directors/co-directors had been brought on board the film, as well as adding a new producer and recasting the lead voice actress. These changes were obviously not made at this time only announced publicly on this date, but past news stories from several credible outlets suggest the production of Raya, a Southeast Asia-inspired fantasy film, has not been smooth. New directors Don Hall - a director on Big Hero 6 and Winnie the Pooh, who also served as a co-director on Moana - was teamed with Disney new-hire Carlos L√≥pez Estrada. Estrada, only thirty-one, is a Mexican filmmaker who directed a number of music videos and commercials prior to making his feature directorial debut in 2018 with the live-action film Blindspotting starring Daveed Diggs. Paul Briggs was originally announced as the director of Raya in 2018, along with Dean Wellins, who is no longer on the project as Briggs was seemingly demoted to co-director with John Ripa being brought on alongside him. Both Briggs and Ripa are story department veterans and have served as heads of story on past Disney hits. While the new directors are something of an odd couple in terms of both the amount and the kind of experience they possess it would seem Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee (the director/writer of both Frozen films who took over for John Lasseter in 2018) must have seen a spark of something unique the team could bring to the table as this first teaser trailer for the film highlights something of an unexpected, but wholly welcome tonal shift. The film is set in the fictional fantasy land of Kumandra, which has been inspired by cultures from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Laos. The story - as penned by Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asians) with revisions by Qui Nguyen - follows Raya (The Last Jedi's Kelly Marie Tran who replaced Cassie Steele) as she searches for the titular last dragon, voiced in the film by Awkwafina. As it turns out the dragon, named Sisu, is a water dragon who can transform into human form and the two set off on an adventure to stop an evil entity from taking over their kingdom. A somewhat by-the-numbers good vs. evil scenario, but we all know it's about the journey, not the destination and if this first look tells us anything it's that this should be one fun, exciting journey. Raya and the Last Dragon is set to open on March 12, 2021.    


Synopsis: In a realm known as Lumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon. 

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