Raya and The Future of Disney

Today we were treated to the first teaser trailer for Raya and The Last Dragon. This movie was announced at the previous D23 and looked extremely promising. After viewing the trailer, that promise absolutely holds up. We also received word of many changes coming to Disney as Bob Chapek finally made a rare appearance to talk numbers.

The trailer shows Raya as a kid/teen raiding a tomb with the help of a little armadillo/pangolin critter as was shown in the concept art. She could be twins with the titular character from Avatar The Legend of Korra. The score is also rough and adventurous with an Asian influence. Definitely not your average Disney flick. She faces Zuko—I mean a mysterious masked man and then we flash forward to her as an adult. The world has changed and the people of the world aren’t getting along. Raya is the protector of a dragon gem and now must seek out the last dragon.

While the trailer plays coy with the dragon, she was already at D23. Sisu is just the sort of colorful and whimsical being I want for my dragon. She also appears to take inspiration from a sea dragon. I’m absolutely into it, the dragon design and this trailer. It looks amazing honestly. I can’t wait for this to come to theaters (with hopefully a home streaming option) in March 2021.

The cast is also stellar thus far. Awkwafina, hot off her role as Danny Devito in Jumanji 2, will be playing Sisu. While Star Wars Episode 9 absolutely snubbed her, Kelly Marie Tran, Rose in Star Wars, is now a Disney princess and will be taking on the role of Raya herself. Tran was overjoyed for the role, saying “She is someone who is technically a princess but I think that what’s really cool about this project, about this character, specifically is that everyone’s trying to flip the narrative on what it means to be a princess… Raya is totally a warrior. When she was a kid, she was excited to get her sword. And she grows up to be a really badass, gritty warrior and can really take care of herself.”

Watch the trailer for yourself here: Raya and The Last Dragon

That isn’t all the Disney news. Bob Chapek made a rare appearance to talk numbers. Everyone has been curious with the new social distancing measures just how crowded the parks were. Finally we can confirm they are operating at 25% capacity which is about equivalent to a sold out after hours holiday party. The governor of Florida is also making rounds to Disney World and Universal Studios in order to make a decision on reopening California parks including Disney Land and in what capacity. His current offer was too low of a capacity for any of the parks to be open and they’re still negotiating currently.

While the virtual investor meeting isn’t currently happening, Chapek revealed that consumers voting with their wallets has shown Disney Plus to be a hit beyond what they expected which is leading them to take a new stance when it comes to how they distribute their content. Usually there were seperate teams for producing television shows, movies, and streaming shows with set roles. Going forward, those set roles are gone. People will be creating content without knowing exactly where it will be published. Disney is hoping to get even more quality releases going forward for plus.

The last tidbit of information he had before turning in for six more weeks of winter—er investor planning was concerning the cruise line. Disney cruises have been at dock since the pandemic started and the Disney Wish, their newest cruise ship, had its maiden voyage delayed seemingly indefinitely. That’s no longer the case as Disney is opening bookings for nearly all lines including Wish. The ships won’t set sail until April 2022 however as they prepare for another year of pandemic.

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