Disney's newest animated production, Raya and the Last Dragon, is releasing on March 5, 2021. With the studio working toward telling more modern stories set in culturally diverse areas of the world, Raya and the Last Dragon follows the titular character as she tries to save her homeland from a deadly monster species called the Druun.
Any fan of Disney knows that there are 12 official Disney princesses starting with Snow White and ending with Moana, but with the release of Raya and the Last Dragon, audiences eagerly want to know whether Raya is considered a canonical Disney princess.
Let’s investigate to find out everything fans need to know about possible princess Raya before watching the movie. No spoilers ahead!
Is Raya from 'Raya and the Last Dragon' a Disney princess?
It’s been a while since audiences have had a new Disney princess. The last was 2016’s Moana who taught us about the importance of staying true to yourself and now, with the release of Raya and the Last Dragon, fans are wondering whether Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) is about to be Disney’s latest addition to their official roster of princesses.
But first, who’s Raya and what’s Raya and the Last Dragon about?
Raya and the Last Dragon is about Raya, a warrior from the fictional land of Kumandra who is given the task of saving her world from sinister monsters known as the Druun. In order to save her people and the world at large, Raya goes on a quest to find the world’s last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), in one last attempt to fix her world from complete collapse.
But is she an actual princess?
Although Disney hasn’t officially announced Raya as an official princess yet, it’s highly likely that they will. Co-writers of Raya and the Last Dragon Adele Lim and Qui Nguyen have specifically referred to the project as “a princess movie” and wrote the character as such.
Also, Raya’s father Chief Benja (Daniel Dae Kim) is the head of Kumundara’s Heart land, so Raya is also a literal princess in title. But what makes her an even more compelling princess is that she’s also a complicated human being and it’s Raya’s flawed character that makes her a sympathetic and layered protagonist.
Kelly Marie Tran, who voices Raya, has also referred to the character as “the first Southeast Asian princess,” and has spoken at length about what an honor it is to play the character.
“It feels insane — it feels like a crazy dream,” she told Good Morning America adding, “It's wild to be part of this thing that is so much bigger than me — that has so much legacy behind it.”
She also said on The Drew Barrymore Show that she’s excited to be a part of a movie that challenges what “people think when it comes to the word ‘Princess.’ What do people think when it comes to the word ‘Hero?’”
Raya and the Last Dragon is available in select theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on March 5, 2021.