Thursday, October 22, 2020

Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon features Southeast Asian Heroine

Wazzup Pilipinas!

As a Filipina-American, I am heavily emotional over this trailer for Raya and The Last Dragon.

I am so proud of this representation.

Using Arnis, wearing the salakot, holding the Moro sword... the different colors on their people. I’m crying.

I am so proud.

Though someone on Reddit just said rRaya and the Last Dragon looked like a "full rip off of Avatar the last airbender assets" ... 

What? Gee, I wonder why they look similar? Could it be because they're were both inspired by real Asian cultures?


In a world that finds itself lost for hope, Raya goes on an epic journey to find the last dragon to save the kingdom of Kumandra. Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon, in cinemas soon.

Here’s the Southeast Asian heroine we’ve been waiting for.

Kelly Marie Tran's Raya is on the hunt for peace and finding the last dragon as seen in the new teaser trailer for Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon.  

The animated movie was created with Asian American writers & leads, story inspired by Southeast Asian cultures from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Laos. It will be available in  theaters on March 2021. 

She's a new heroine from Southeast Asia with an adorable sidekick.

The poster for the upcoming film has also been released, featuring a rain-drenched Raya donning a salakot and holding a sword with a dragon on the hilt. 

OMG, Kudos to Walt Disney Animation Studios and whoever is the artist behind the poster!. Words cannot describe how beautiful this poster is. 

The animation looks so crisp. The animators deserve all the praise to not only make the movie look this good but also working on it during the COVID-19 pandemic during lockdowns. 

From the new trailer, moody atmosphere, interesting lore, and character charm are set to make Raya and the Last Dragon an exciting new film from Disney Animation Studios.

Whether the story will be complex or simplistic, the trailer for Raya and the Last Dragon excels in atmosphere and immersion!

I can't wait to see what the film looks like! 

The team behind this movie really put in effort into including the different ethnicities and cultures present in Southeast Asia.

There's even arnis sticks used as a weapon.

Kelly Marie Tran is the voice of Raya, and Awkwafina is the Dragon Sisu! 

That's character design talent right there. Near unbelievable likeness that Sisu dragon to Awkwafina.

I still want to know the story behind Kelly Marie Tran replacing Cassie Steele as Raya in Raya and the Last Dragon. I wonder why they fired Cassie Steele.

Maybe the directors felt that Steele wasn't the best choice to voice Raya.

Which explains why they got Tran to replace her.

Though, to be fair, I am much more familiar with Tran's work.

I only really know Cassie Steele from Degrassi The Next Generstion and Kelly Marie Tran is also a much bigger name so it makes sense.

Oh man, as a lifelong comic book fan, the big dream has always been this: to write and introduce to the world my own original superhero that actually looks like me and my kids. This March, that dream finally comes true. 

It's set in a fantasy "Southeast Asia" land with dragons that's definitely going to be a bunch of very different cultures smushed together like Moana.

Raya and the Last Dragon looks very cool.

Love Kelly Marie Tran as they voice, nice visual style, dig the music beat.

My very first thought was OMG SHE LOOKS LIKE A 3D KORRA!!

It definitely could've been done with a more specific focus since it was an amalgamation of different Polynesian cultures.

Like Coco was specifically a Mexican story, Mulan is specifically Chinese even if Disney messed up both times on historical accuracy. Is it too much to ask for Moana and Raya to have a similar focus? is it because you don't want to offend people? Because Mulan 2020 did that already.

If you want to avoid that, then maybe have people who are actually Asian to direct the damn movies. Why give this to a white man? And Carlos Estrada isn't white but he isn't Asian either....and neither are the producers.

Wow you guys went on a research trip to various Southeast Asian islands! You have staff who are Southeast Asian! But that is the bare minimum because they can only do so much if they don't have a the director or producer who has the cultural background that calls all the shots.

Like. Come on maybe it's just me but Sisu?? Why is she candy colored? She reminds me of that sassy unicorn from the Barbie Swan Lake movie and I hate it. I cannot believe any Asian person with some background in their history would approve. Just look at her.

Y'all want dragons in your generic fantasy Asian movie? You have Kelly Marie Tran, who is Vietamese and deserves everything good, so why not base Raya on Vietamese mythology and folklore? They have dragons! because there are variations in Southeast Asian mythologies!

Why do you want to make Asian dragons sassy? Why can't they be beautiful and symbolic like they're meant to be in their respective cultures. 

May Raya and the Last Dragon be but a reminder that if representation from an international company is already this beautiful, locally-made representation can be just as great if not better.

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