RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON is now on Digital and releases on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD May 18th
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ epic adventure Raya and the Last Dragon is now available on digital platforms and will arrive on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD beginning May 18.
This week I had the opportunity to participate in a virtual junket with Director Don Hall, Writer Adele Lim, and Writer Qui Nguyen. We alked about Unity and trusts, bonus features, scenes that didn't make it to the final film and much more.
Q. Unity and trusts were a big theme of the film. Can you talk about what you wanted to explore with these themes?
A. I think it just felt very evocative. And I think it makes it a good theme is that if there was justification on both sides of it, from, you know, taking into account that this world is broken, that was always the movie, and it was about, you know, a world that's fractured, and the hope that it could get put back together. And what's the barrier to that what's preventing that, and we felt trust was something that was very evocative, because you could explore it on both sides, Raya doesn't trust at the beginning of the movie. And hopefully, if we did our jobs, right, it's justified, you know, that, yeah, if I was in her shoes, I would be thinking the same thing and feeling the same feeling so and to really make it hard. The whole movie is about making it can make it easy. It's about like, making it hard to trust, like stacking the deck against it, and against all odds, choosing to do that. And that's what puts the world back together. So I think for us, it felt rich. Even early on, when we first started exploring it, you know, not knowing you know, where it was gonna go, it just felt like it was going to offer us a opportunity for very rich dematic.
Q. The bonus features highlight how Raya was made at home during the pandemic, which is inspiring to think about just how many working pieces and navigating the challenges of making a film during the pandemic, how was the process?
A. I think it was an interesting thing, because I think like anybody when the started it was kind of a scary notion that we were going to make a movie remotely and and kind of like the superpower that Disney has is it's it's this kind of like a roof that's carried these, these mini, you know, amazing artists for years and years and years. And we kind of like the special ingredient has always been the way we collaborate with each other live in person in a room. And so it was terrifying to go, oh, we're gonna change up how we've been doing things for years and years to make this one film. But what it did do was it was a surprise was it forces like the theme or movies to kind of trust in each other even more to kind of go, Oh, you know what, I'm going to trust that you can do this without me being right beside you. And a lot of ways, I think everyone kind of stepped up the challenge in some amazing, beautiful ways. I think, you know, Don been here for a long, long, long time. And, and Kim constantly says how beautiful the film is, like one of the most beautiful he seen any scene at all. And so I think it's, I think it's a testament to not just, you know, the hard work he's done with artwork that everyone in our studio has done. And it's just been, it's been beautiful to see how like both the theme of trust, and just the action of trusting each other as collaborators has really made this incredible experience and incredible movie.
Q. I would love to know, what are your favorite scenes in the movie? And was there a scene that didn't make the cut that you wish looking back?
A. There was one, I don't know if you guys remember john riphah, our co director, john riphah. Board artist, like one of the best ever. he boarded a scene of Amari and her her Fang crew going back to Fang and they encountered a drone. And she did like some really cool stuff and kind of saved her crew. And it was just an amazing namara moment, actually kind of too amazing. Because that's a point of the movie. We the audience needs to feel like she's the main antagonist. If not, you know, not a full on villain. You know, we needed that, that threat. And we watched the movie and we could feel ourselves start to kind of align with namara. And, and it was one of those, like Adele said kind of killing killing your darlings kind of thing, because it was so cool. But it was almost too cool for the movie at that at that point. And so we had to, we had to pull it.
Q. I was interested in hearing your thoughts on highlighting not only representation on screen, but also the importance of bringing back sort of representation from behind the scenes to help collaborate and make this film
A. I told the story before, but on my first day in Disney, I was taking the elevator from the parking lot up. And I got in. And there were a bunch of female story artists in there who all you know, there were Indonesians, and people from Thailand and the Philippines. And this has never happened to me in my career in Hollywood. And it's not like this team was brought together for riot, these were already amazingly talented young artists who were already there in the story department in visual development. And so, you know, we had this wonderful cultural trust, that was helping really steep the entire team in the cultures.
Raya and the Last Dragon Releases on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD May 18