Raya and the Last Dragon is the newest animated movie hitting Disney+ tomorrow and it will star Star Wars alum, Kelly Marie Tran, as the titular character. The upcoming film will mark Disney Animation Studios' first movie inspired by Southeast Asia with Tran being the first Southeast Asian actor to star in a project from the studio. Of course, the first East Asian Disney princess was Mulan, who was voiced by another Star Wars actor, Ming-Na Wen. Wen currently plays Fennec Shand in Star Wars: The Mandalorian, but she's also a Disney triple threat, having also played Agent Melinda May on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. During a recent appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show, Tran was treated to a little surprise from Wen. Barrymore talked about how Tran is breaking glass ceilings and paving the way before mentioning how Mulan was an inspiration to her.
"That was such a huge part of my childhood," Tran shared. "I think I was nine when that movie came out and it was the first time I felt like I saw someone who looked like me living in these sort of spaces on that sort of scale. Ming-Na Wen, who plays Mulan, is such an inspiration to me. I actually got to meet her at the Episode 9 premiere and she’s such a symbol of all the things I want to be; such a cool experience." That’s when Barrymore chimed in, "Ming-Na, are you there?" Tran gasps and shouts, "Oh my god, what?!"
Wen joins the video chat and tells Tran, "Congratulations on everything, I feel like I’m looking in a mirror, like at the younger - because I followed Kelly’s footsteps and became part of the Star Wars family and now she's following my footsteps and being a Disney princess. I just feel like we have this whole mirror thing going on and I love it. I'm so proud of you." It’s absolutely precious, and you can watch it in the tweet below:
So fun surprising Kelly! Congrats again on #RayaAndTheLastDragon!March 4, 2021
During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Tran spoke about how she wished she could share the experience with everyone who has ever wanted to be part of a Disney film.
"Oh man, that's a big deal. Yeah, I grew up loving these movies and loving being a part of the Disney fandom," Tran said. "Just being a kid that loved watching animated movies over and over and over and quoting them with my sisters. It was a huge part of my childhood. And so, to be a part of this is a really big deal for me. I'm really excited to share it with the world. And I just honestly wish I could share this with everyone who's ever loved these movies and wanted to be a part of them. It is an absolutely incredible and rare experience that I really wish I could just share."
Raya and The Last Dragon arrives in theaters and on Disney+ Premiere Access on March 5th.