The new animated movie Raya and The Last Dragon is Disney’s first major film release of 2021, debuting March 5 in theaters and streaming on Disney+ Premier Access (via CNET). Viewers are sure to recognize the voice of Sisu, the last-of-her-kind water dragon called upon by a young woman named Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) to save humanity from dark forces. Actress-comedian Awkwafina brings her self-deprecating humor and wit to the role in the first Disney movie with a Southeast Asian lead character, per USA Today.
She told the media outlet she felt lucky to play the character in a movie that offers much-needed representation for the Asian community in Hollywood. “I take a lot of joy and pride to be a part of these projects,” Awkwafina said. “I think from when I first started acting and being in the movies, it really has changed. To be led to this moment, it just feels really good. It feels like we’re going the right way.”
The movie is sure to be a hit
The box office has been slow since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but the biggest successes have been animated family movies, according to Box Office Mojo. The success of DreamWorks’ The Croods: A New Age and Warner Bros. Pictures’ Tom and Jerry points toward Raya and The Last Dragon being another hit film for Disney. The movie’s synopsis on IMDb reads, “In a realm known as Kumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon.”
As for the star behind the “last dragon,” while Awkwafina has found fame with roles in hit movies like Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean’s Eight, she has a lengthy and versatile list of voice-acting gigs on her resume, too. She has voiced characters on The Simpsons, Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and Tuca & Bertie, and she will voice the beloved character of Scuttle in the live-action remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (per Inside the Magic).
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