Raya and The Last Dragon Trailer Receives Mixed Reactions


Bella Escobar, Features Editor

On Tuesday, January 26, the trailer for the next Disney princess film was released.  “Raya and The Last Dragon” depicts the story of a young warrior princess named Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran), in the land of Kumandra, inspired by Southeast Asian cultures, on a mission to find the Last Dragon in order to save her people.

However, the conversation sparked with this trailer release shows mixed reactions from viewers. The story of “Raya and The Last Dragon” has a Southeast Asian origin influenced by Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and many more, yet the majority of the actors cast are of East Asian ancestry.  Reinforcing the fact that not all people of Asian heritage are the same.

Viewers expressed their disappointment through Twitter stating, “Imagine how big it would be if they actually casted Southeast Asian actors. SE Asian actors are sorely lacking in Hollywood.”

Another said, “South-East Asians are not thrilled for Raya and the Last Dragon. They basically put the whole region in a blender and hired so little South-East Asian actors for the roles. It sucks, it feels like Disney didn’t care to respect us…Each country under South-East Asia is very unique. You cannot walk up to us and say a person from Thailand is the same as a person from Indonesia. We speak different languages and have different customs. This movie represents no one in particular.”

Regardless of the criticism being received from the trailer, “Raya and The Last Dragon” will premiere on Disney+ on March 5, for $29.99.