Disney has given us our first look at the upcoming Raya and the Last Dragon and I’m quite impressed. In a two-minute teaser that sets up the basic groundwork for everything, we get to see some kinetic martial arts action, hear a pulse-pounding soundtrack, and catch a glimpse of its eye-popping visual design. It’s all looking really good, though I can’t help but shake the striking similarities to The Legend of Korra.
Comparisons aside, I’m genuinely surprised my expectations didn’t lead to me immediately rejecting this. As an avid lover of Kung Fu cinema and a defender of actress Kelly Marie Tran, maybe I’m just the exact target audience that Disney is hoping to appeal to here. Even with a brief two minutes that reveals next to nothing about the plot, I can see similarities to films like Hero, Ong-Bak, and obviously Avatar: The Last Airbender. That focus on Eastern Asian has paid off wonderfully.
Raya and the Last Dragon is still optimistically targeting a March 12, 2021 release date in theaters. I don’t think that is going to happen, no matter how hard Disney may want it to. If anything, I guarantee the film will follow in the footsteps of Mulan and Soul and hit Disney+ sometime in the spring. That almost seems like a given with the way things are going for theater chains, especially AMC.