WATCH: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon movie trailer shows Pinoy elements

Raya and the Last Dragon
Disney’s Southeast Asian princess wears a salakot traditional headgear from the Philippines and carries a Filipino Muslim sword. Photo from Disney.

WATCH Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon new movie trailer and you’ll see why netizens are all abuzz about the Pinoy elements in the animated film.

The latest promotional video of the animated Walt Disney Animation Studios film that was released on October 21, 2020 (October 22 Philippine Time) had social media users tweeting about what seemed to be elements taken from Filipino culture:

  • Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess is seen wearing what appears to be a salakot, a traditional headgear from the Philippines used for protection against the sun and rain.

  • Raya seems to be holding a Moro sword, a weapon found in Sulu and Mindanao.
  • Raya fends off her attackers with two sticks resembling those traditionally used in Arnis, also known as Kali or Eskrima, the Philippines’ national martial art.

Walt Disney Animation Studios said the upcoming film is inspired by elements of ethnic cultures from Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.

The synopsis from Disney’s website explains that the animated adventure takes place in the magical world of Kumandra and follows the lone warrior princess, Raya, who takes on a quest to find the last living dragon in order to stop sinister monsters from invading her land.

Raya is skilled in the Filipino martial art of Arnis.

“My whole life, I trained to become a guardian of the Dragon Gem, but this world has changed. And its people are divided. Now, to restore peace, I must find the last dragon,” Raya says in the trailer while fighting an assailant.

The production of “Raya and the Last Dragon” has been reorganized after the COVID 19 pandemic struck the world earlier this year. Changes include the replacement of director Dean Wellins and Filipino-Canadian actress Cassandra Steele who was first introduced in 2019 as the voice actor of Raya.

The movie is now directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, written by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim, and is the newest movie from ‘Moana’ Producer Osnat Shurer. “Star Wars” actor Kelly Marie Tran now voices Raya. It also stars the voice of actress Awkwafina for Sisu, a water dragon in human form.

Raya and the Last Dragon is scheduled to be screened in movie theaters in 2021.

WATCH the new movie trailer for Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon here to see the Pinoy elements in the upcoming film.

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Margo Hannah De Guzman Quadra
Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.