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Raya and the Last Dragon headed directly to Disney Plus with Premier Access

Disney Animation’s next feature goes the Mulan route

raya in a desert landscape Image: Disney
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Disney’s upcoming animated feature film, Raya and the Last Dragon, will open in theaters and on Disney Plus in March, Disney announced at its 2020 Investors Day. The choice by the Walt Disney Company follows in the footsteps of Mulan, which went directly to Disney’s streaming service due to the widespread closure of theaters in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mulan was initially available through a premium fee, and Raya will follow the same path. The strategy follows a similar shift to WarnerMedia, which will release Warner Bros. Pictures 2021 theatrical releases directly to HBO Max (albeit with no extra charge).

Raya and the Last Dragon takes place in a Southeast Asian-inspired fantasy world, where dragons and humans once lived side-by-side. The titular hero, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, is on the search for the last dragon in the land as fearsome monsters return to the land. Awkwafina voices the smart-talking dragon, who can also shapeshift into the form of an old woman.

Originally set for a November 2020 theatrical release date, then pushed to March 21, 2021, Raya will now premiere a little earlier on March 5.

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