Much of Disney's content this year has been nothing but remakes. We've gotten the live action remakes of classics such as Aladdin and The Lion King. Plus Lady and the Tramp is coming this fall to Disney+. Then we got another Toy Story, and the highly anticipated sequel to Frozen, Frozen 2 is coming this November. But there is good news coming, most of Disney's animated films for 2020 are going to be completely original.
At their annual D23 Expo, their most recent original animated feature was announced. Called Raya and the Last Dragon. It is the 59th film from Walt Disney Animation Studios (that doesn't count Pixar films.) Starring Cassie Steele (of Degrassi: The Next Generation fame) as Raya and comedian/actress Awkwafina as Sisu, the water creature who is the world's last dragon, the film is set to release in fall 2020.
Raya, a young warrior sets off to find Sisu to save Kumandra (a fictional world) from a scary, dark force. Using Southeast Asian culture as it's inspiration, Osnat Shurer describes the world of Raya and the Last Dragon as "a reimagined earth inhabited by an ancient civilization that venerated the mythical dragons for their power and their wisdom.” It was also said that the film revolves around themes like community, honor, and family.
As for the world of Kumandra, it consists of five clans who together form the Land of the Dragon. But with the dragons gone, Kumandra is under the attack of a “dark, sinister force” that can only be defeated by a dragon. “Raya is ready to meet a magical water being who breathes fog through her nose, flies by riding the raindrops, and has a gem that channels this amazing huge power,” Cassie Steele explained during the panel. “When Raya first meets [her], she’s in human form and needs Raya’s help to reclaim her power to become her true dragon self.”
Just Announced: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon, starring @cassandrasteele (Raya) and @Awkwafina (Sisu, the Last Dragon). Check out all-new concept art, and see the film in theaters November 2020. #D23Expo pic.twitter.com/j7Xw8q3k8x— Raya and the Last Dragon (@DisneyRaya) August 24, 2019
People at the panel got a sneak peek of Raya and the Last Dragon too! In the clip, Raya is seen exploring a rainy jungle before discovering an ancient temple. Raya then enters the temple accompanied by her younger brother, a flute player, passing through a hall with dragon carvings. At the preview's climax, the pair come face to face with Sisu, the last dragon.
As of right now, Raya and the Lost Dragon is slated for release on November 25th 2020.