Representation feels great—there's that little jump your heart does when the characters on screen have similar features or you hear your native language being spoken. Asian representation has been on a high as of late (and it's a good thing!) with the likes of Crazy Rich Asians and Always Be My Maybe, and there's even a documentary on Cebu's dancing inmates. More and more films are making room for Asian talents and Disney's next animated film Raya and the Last Dragon not only features Asian voice actors but also highlights Southeast Asian culture.
The film features Awkwafina—who is of Chinese and South Korean descent—as the voice of the water dragon Sisu, and Filipino-Canadian actress Cassie Steele who will lend her voice as Raya the warrior. The film's screenplay is written by Crazy Rich Asians writer Adele Lim, who is a Malaysian native of Chinese descent.
Both voice actors took to Instagram to express their excitement over the project.
The cast members joined in the announcement of the film at Disney's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Aside from Asian actors starring in the film, it will also explore various Southeast Asian cultures as Raya goes on a mythical adventure to search for the land's last living dragon. The movie is set to hit theaters in November 2020.