Disney's actress Cassie Steele
Cassie Steele (Raya) and Awkwafina (Sisu, the Last Dragon), were presented as the leads of Disney’s new movie. Credits to Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Disney’s new animated film, Raya and the Last Dragon, will star Filipino-Canadian actress Cassandra “Cassie” Steele in the title role.

Walt Disney Animation Studios announced the upcoming movie and presented the two lead stars, Cassie Steele (Raya) and Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina (Sisu, the Last Dragon), on August 24 at the Disney D23 Expo 2019 Fan Club event in California.

Cassie Steele went on social media to say how she was “So grateful to be working alongside the incredibly talented and hilarious @awkwafina Paul Briggs @_paul_briggs_ and Dean Wellins (Big Hero 6, Frozen) are directing with Moana’s Osnat Shurer producing. The incredible @adeleblim (Crazy Rich Asians) has written this beautiful masterpiece.”

The Asian-themed animated film tells the story of Raya, a lone warrior from the fantasy kingdom of Kumandra who teams up with a crew of misfits in her quest to find the Last Dragon and bring light and unity back to their world.

Raya meets Sisu when she is in human form when she is “not the dragon hero Raya is looking for,” Steele said at the D23 stage.

Disney describes Raya and the Last Dragon as a film that explores themes of community and hope and is inspired by the beautiful and diverse cultures of Southeast Asia.

Cassie Steele traces her parental heritage to a Filipina mother and a British father. She has a portfolio of several television credits and hit shows and won a Young Artist Award for Best Ensemble Actor in a TV Series. Steele is also an accomplished singer who has released music albums.

Cassie Steele will be heard as the voice of the lead character Raya and the Last Dragon which opens in U.S. theaters on November 25, 2020.

Two of Disney’s hit animated movies, Mulan and Aladdin, featured the singing voice of Filipina international music star Lea Salonga.

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