raya and the last dragon trailer

Walt Disney Animation released a new Raya and the Last Dragon trailer during tonight’s Super Bowl, giving audiences another look at the studio’s newest animated fantasy adventure story. Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) stars as Raya, a lone warrior who goes on a quest to find a mythical dragon who will supposedly be able to reunite the lands, which have been at odds for years. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

raya and the last dragon trust

Raya and the Last Dragon came together under unusual circumstances. Completed during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the team of hundreds of animators, directors, writers, and actors had to work on the Disney fantasy-adventure epic from home and had to trust in one another — a bond that would spill over into the film itself. Raya and the Last Dragon is about “learning to trust” in others, directors Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada said during the early press day for Raya and the Last Dragon. And that couldn’t be more fitting, considering the unusual way it (almost miraculously) came together.

Animators had to work on scenes while balancing pets and kids on their knees, voice actors had to install recording studios out of their closets, and the directors and writers had to gather this all together while building a rich, culturally-authentic world with the film’s team of consultants, including the Southeast Asia Story Trust.

“It’s a story about trust, and it’s a story about people doing what’s needed to come together,” producer Osnat Shurer said during the press day Q&A.

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raya and the last dragon directors

Raya and the Last Dragon is being billed as Disney’s next big leap in representation, as it takes place in a fantasy world heavily inspired by Southeast Asia and featuring the House of Mouse’s first Southeast Asian princess. But where do the lines of authenticity starts to blur? Raya and the Last Dragon is set in the fictional world of Kumandra, inspired by a number of Southeast Asian countries and dozens of cultures. It’s the same route that Disney took with Moana, a film generally inspired by Polynesian cultures. And the Raya and the Last Dragon team hope to pull off the same homage to a rich and diverse region with a Southeast Asian writing team, featuring Malaysian writer Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asiansand Vietnamese writer Qui Nguyen (Vietgone), and a team of consultants and experts that make up the film’s Southeast Asian Story Trust.

“The way we approach [the film] is in terms of celebrating and lifting, [and] being really inspired by [Southeast Asian cultures],” director Carlos López Estrada told /Film in an interview on a Raya and the Last Dragon press day.

“I often equate it to like Excalibur,” added Nguyen. “Like to the Arthurian legend or like Game of Thrones where they’re pulling it from a lot of European things, not specifically Britain or Ireland or anything like that, it’s kind of a melting pot of European stories. It was such a pleasure to be able to create our own legend, our own fantasy, our own hero, based on cultures of a certain land and the whole movie, the theme of it, is about different people coming together.”

Read our full interview with Estrada, Nguyen, and director Don Hall below.

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raya and the last dragon avatar the last airbender

To fans of a certain beloved Nickelodeon animated series, Raya and the Last Dragon may look oddly familiar. A younger version of the Disney film’s main character Raya (voiced by Kelly-Marie Tran) bears an uncanny resemblance to the character of Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender, right down to the hairstyle and blue tunic. Her adorable Pill bug-esque sidekick wouldn’t look out of place in the world of that show, either. And similarly to the four nations of the Nickelodeon series, Raya‘s fictional world of Kumandra is divided into five lands: Fang, Heart, Talon, Spine, and Tail.

And the folks who made the movie are more than happy to embrace the comparison.

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Sharknado

After the jump:

  • Sam Taylor-Johnson might not do more Fifty Shades
  • Tony Hale gets sucked into Alvin and the Chipmunks 4
  • Cassie Scerbo will be terrorized by Sharknado again
  • Zoolander 2 is jetting off to Rome this spring
  • The Walking Dead spinoff pilot finishes shooting
  • AMC is skeptical about the Crouching Dragon sequel
  • See some new footage in a Furious 7 music video

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Frozen Easter Eggs in big hero 6

The team at Disney Animation Studios loves putting Easter eggs in their movies. When you’re working on a single shot for days, weeks, or even months you’ve got to do something to stay focused and interested. Big Hero 6 is no different, and the film is chock full of gags. “I will say we just generally we have a lot of Easter eggs in this movie,” co-director Chris Williams told us last year. “To the point that we had to really tell our artists to knock it off.”

There are definitely some in the Fred’s room scene but there are actually a bunch tied to that other Disney Animated film everyone is still talking about, Frozen. Big Hero 6 hits Digital HD/ Disney Movies Anywhere February 3 and then Blu-ray Combo Pack on February 24th. To tease that announcement, Disney has revealed one of the disc’s features, a video pointing out all the Frozen Easter Eggs in Big Hero 6.

Watch that video below, and read a previously unpublished discussion /Film had with directors Chris Williams and Don Hall about the relationship between Frozen and Big Hero 6. Read More »

Big Hero 6 Questions Answered

The success of Disney Animation continued this weekend with the release of Big Hero 6. A loose adaptation of a Marvel Comic of the same name, the fast-paced, emotional action film follows a young boy named Hiro who employs his older brother’s health robot Baymax to help track down a mysterious villain.

That’s the non-spoiler way to describe it. But with the movie now in theaters, and already a hit, it’s time to talk spoilers. Speaking with the film’s directors Don Hall and Chris Williams, we asked about a bunch of the super spoilery questions you probably had after watching the film. Character motivations, ultimate fates, potential plot holes, cameos and more. Below, the directors answer your Big Hero 6 questions. Read More »

Big Hero 6 easter eggs

While lots of the early November movie buzz has been about Interstellar, definitely start looking forward to Big Hero 6. It’s an action-packed delight. A wonderful blend of superhero origin story and buddy movie with a big giant heart.

In the film, Hiro and his brother’s robot Baymax, form a superhero team to try and stop a rising super-villain. And while most of the marketing and hype has been about the admittedly awesome Baymax, the other four characters are really fantastic too. In particular, TJ Miller as Fred, a stoner comic book geek with a Bruce Wayne-sized secret, is one film fans are sure to latch onto.

During one scene in particular, the whole team visits Fred’s room and it’s geek nirvana. Shelves and shelves of toys, books, collectibles and more. And when I asked directors Don Hall and Chris Williams about it, they confirmed this is one scene fans are really going to want to keep an eye on because it’s filled with Disney and Marvel references.

Below, read our conversation about Fred’s Easter Egg filled room and why you need to stay through the credits starting on November 7. Read More »

Big Hero 6 Behind the Scenes

Earlier this summer, a group of journalists was invited to Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, CA to learn about the impressive process that went into their latest film Big Hero 6Big Hero 6 is based on, but not linked to, a Marvel comic book of the same name. That makes it the first Disney animated Marvel movie and while the comic and film share very little in common two things they do share are the focus on action and emotion.

We posted a nice long piece about all of the cool tidbits we learned about the film but, we also got a chance to sit down with some of the lead creators of the film. You’ve already seen our interview with the story guys and now, we’ve got an interview directors Don Hall and Chris Williams. Hall (Winnie the Pooh) was specifically tasked by John Lasseter to make a movie based on Marvel and Williams (Bolt) was brought on later to help with the load.  

In our interview we talk about pitching a story to John Lasseter, working on the film’s music, creating some of the superhero personas, the genesis of the project and more. Below, read our interview with the men responsible for Big Hero 6. Read More »

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‘Big Hero 6’ Trailer Rounds Up the Whole Gang

BIG HERO 6 trailer

As we head into the final quarter of the year, Disney is bringing us one last Marvel movie. Big Hero 6 is the venerable studio’s first animated Marvel adventure, which means it’s the film we’ve been waiting for pretty much since the moment Disney bought Marvel.

Ryan Potter leads the voice cast as young robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada. When his hometown, the futuristic city of San Fransokyo, is threatened, he assembles a superhero team to save the day. Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, and T.J. Miller also star. Watch the new Big Hero 6 trailer plus some more images after the jump.

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