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Kelly Marie Tran to voice lead in 'Raya and the Last Dragon'

'Raya and the Last Dragon' is expected to be released in theaters on March 21, 2021.
'Raya and the Last Dragon' is expected to be released in theaters on March 21, 2021. (Image credit: Disney)

Kelly Marie Tran, who recently starred in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker, has been named as the voice of Raya in Disney’s upcoming film Raya and the Last Dragon. The move makes Tran age the first actress of Southeast Asian descent to lead an animated movie, it’s also the first Disney film to be inspired by Southeast Asia.

The film, which is expected to be released in March 2021, follows Raya, the daughter of the Chief of the Heart Lands, which is one of the five islands that are found in the fictional kingdom of Kumandra. Dinosaurs and humans lived in harmony in the area until posters known as Druun invaded. The dinosaurs ended up sacrificing their lives in order to save the humans. During the battle, Raya’s father was also killed. The film follows Raya’s quest to find the last dragon, which she thinks can potentially save their kingdom.

The film will be the 59th film produced by Walt Disney Animation studios and is directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, co-directed by Paul Briggs and John Ripa, produced by Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho, and written by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim. 

Awkwafina also is expected to be part of the film as the voice of Sisu, the last dragon. No other casting decisions have been announced; however, Disney did drop a teaser trailer for the movie to give us an idea of what we’re in for, which admittedly is just the same animated shot from different angles, so it still leaves (a lot) to the imagination. 

A few months ago Disney also released a video with Adele Lim, screenwriter for Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon, discusses the importance of diversity and telling female-forward stories at The Walt Disney Company.

Raya and the Last Dragon is currently expected to be released in theaters on March 21, 2021.