In Raya and the Last Dragon, the titular heroine (played by Kelly Marie Tran) sets out on a mission to find the mythical last dragon and in the process save her world. In the film, Raya is a fierce warrior but as the story unfolds she's much more than that. Saving the world isn't something she can just fight her way through, though. Along the way, Raya has to learn to trust if she has any hope of fixing Kumandra and according to producer Osnat Shurer, it's that vulnerability that ultimately lets her save the day.
"We thought a lot about, what is the story we're trying to tell, what does it take actually to come together?" Shurer told ComicBook.com. "It sounds simple. Hey, let's just all get together. You know, what's the big deal? What are we fighting about? I'm from Israel, the Middle East is a good example of how hard it is. The more we peeled away and went deeper, the more we realized it's about trust and about taking an act of trust, but it doesn't always pay off. It's not like, hey, I just want to act, and I'm just going to do it, and magic wand, and now everything is solved. Sometimes you still get betrayed. Sometimes you do go backward or your character goes into a rage at some point."
She continued, "But the truth is, that's the only way that we will come together. In other words, and if you think about it, this is actually a very feminine trait, even when it's found in men, it's about the courage to be vulnerable. And she's a great fighter. Don't get me wrong. Raya is a serious martial artist and she can move, but in the end, it's that choice to be vulnerable and to open it up, open up your heart, that ends up saving the day and bringing everyone together. And that's a tough message because it goes on and on. It's not easy, it's not simple, but it's worth doing."
You can check out the official synopsis for Raya and the Last Dragon below.
"Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Raya and the Last Dragon takes us on an exciting, epic journey to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where Raya, a lone warrior, must track down the legendary last dragon to stop an evil force that has returned after 500 years to once again threaten her homeworld. The film features an outstanding voice cast, including Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Jona Xiao, Sandra Oh, Thalia Tran, Lucille Soong, Alan Tudyk, Gordon Ip, Dichen Lachman, Patti Harrison, Jon “Dumbfoundead” Park, Sung Kang, Sierra Katow, Ross Butler, François Chau, and Paul Yen. Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada are directing, with Paul Briggs and John Ripa co-directing. Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho are the producers, and Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim wrote the screenplay."
Raya and the Last Dragon is in theaters (where available) now as well as streaming on Disney+ with Premier Access.