Wednesday 27 January 2021

Raya and the Last Dragon from Disney's home to yours

Disney has released a new trailer for Raya and the Last Dragon.

The latest movie from Walt Disney Animation Studios will premiere in selected cinemas and on Disney+ 5th March. It will be available to stream at additional cost to Disney+ subscribers with Premier Access.

Although I didn't bother with the live-action Mulan, Raya and the Last Dragon is more my jam and an uplifting tale of friendship in adversity is a welcome tonic in lockdown.

Raya is played by Kelly Marie Tran, who was trolled on social media for her role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and given scant screen time in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and is clearly having a blast headlining here.

"Everything's been taken away from Raya," producer Osnat Shurer said. "She's totally on her own. She's got nothing left save for her father's sword, her friend, Tuk Tuk, and a shard of something that might be magical. And she sets out into Kumandra seeking the last dragon, Sisu, with the hope of restoring peace to her land."

Raya and the Last Dragon was uniquely produced in homes during the pandemic. Whilst nothing can replace the serendipity of working closely together, technology (pioneered by Apple and Lucasfilm) has enabled socially distanced creatives to collaborate on a world stage. This blog, itself, is a beneficiary.

"As filmmakers, [directors] Don [Hall] and Carlos [L√≥pez Estrada] bring a combination of animation know-how and emotional storytelling to Raya and the Last Dragon, bringing our fantasy adventure to surprising, original, and dynamic heights," Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee explains. "They both saw the potential for this film and had a strong vision for the story, especially for our lead character, played by the wonderfully talented Kelly Marie Tran. And no small feat, directors Don and Carlos, writers Qui [Nguyen] and Adele [Lim], and the entire crew of 400 Disney Animation artists are making this film together, while separated and working from home."

There are no viewing figures for Pixar's Soul, which was released on Disney+ last Christmas. However, if this strategy continues to be successful in driving Disney+ subscriptions upwards of 90 million, Marvel Studios' delayed Black Widow could be next in line to receive a simultaneous release in cinemas and on Disney+.

Are you looking forward to Raya and the Last Dragon? Let me know in the comments below.

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