The writers behind Raya and the Last Dragon talked about the importance of representation with Disney’s first Southeast Asian (warrior) princess.
With only a few months to go until Raya and the Last Dragon arrives on Disney Plus, writers Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim explained in a recent roundtable interview why Kelly Marie Tran‘s new warrior princess is so important in terms of representation. For Qui, it’s important for his children to see themselves represented on the big screen in a way that he didn’t get when growing up, while also noting how grateful he is to play a part in bringing Raya to life.
“Well, for me, this is the big dream. I know that a lot of people are super excited about Raya being Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess. But, for me, it is such a big deal for her to be my kids’ new favorite superhero. It is something that I didn’t get to see growing up, someone that really represented me, our voice, our culture. And to be able to have that for my children is a blessing that will last way beyond my time here on earth. So, it’s an amazing moment to be part of this.”
Meanwhile, Adele Lim revealed that she’s excited to bring a well-rounded warrior to audiences in a way which doesn’t just rely on the stereotypical portrayals of “Hong Kong action kung fu.” Lim said she’s excited for the world to see a Disney adventure which thoroughly celebrates Southeast Asian culture. The Raya and the Last Dragon writer also pointed out that Raya embodies the spirit of women she grew up with. Take a look at her comments below.
“There are so many other things too. We talked a bit about it, but growing up in Southeast Asia, we’re very proud of our culture and our history. But you don’t really ever see it on a Hollywood big screen. I had lots of action heroes on screen growing up, but it was like Hong Kong action kung fu. And now, the idea to be part of a Disney movie that really can celebrate everything that’s beautiful about our culture and how strong our women are is great. And that Raya’s not just an ass-kicker. She’s got so much personality. I feel that it’s so much of the spirit of a lot of the women I grew up with. And so, I’m very excited for the world to see this too.”
Are you excited to see Disney’s first Southeast Asian warrior princess in Raya and the Last Dragon? Sound-off in the comments below!
Here is the official synopsis for Raya and the Last Dragon:
Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. However, when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior to track down the last dragon and stop the Druun for good.
Directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada and Don Hall, the film stars Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemmah Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, Benedict Wong, Izaac Wang, Thalia Tran, Alan Tudyk, Lucille Soong, Patti Harrison and Ross Butler. The film arrives in theaters and on Disney Plus on March 5th, 2021. Stay tuned for all the latest news on Raya and the Last Dragon and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.