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What Is Raya And The Last Dragon Based On? The Culture Behind it

Raya and the Last Dragon
Raya and the Last Dragon

The seventh highest-grossing film of 2021 “Raya and the Last Dragon” has been the topic of discussion for over two months now. The movie was released on March 5, 2021, in the United States. Likewise, it was released on Disney+ with Premier Access the same day. Since the theatrical release, the movie has broken various records. The computer-animated fantasy action-adventure film by Walt Disney became a worldwide phenomenon. It was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. “Raya and the Last Dragon” got immense appreciation due to the culture shown in the movie.

Since its release, the movie has got a positive response from the audience. The story, the adaptation, and the way Southeast Asian culture was depicted in the movie were worth the appreciation. “Raya and the Last Dragon” is directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada. Likewise, the movie is produced by Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho. The screenplay is given by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim. Meanwhile, the story has been given by Paul Briggs, Don Hall, and Adele Lim, to name a few.

official poster of Raya and the Last Dragon

the film’s official poster

“Raya and the Last Dragon” is the 59th movie film produced by the Walt Disney studio. It generated total revenue of $117 million worldwide, excluding the revenue generated by Disney+ Premier Access. Therefore, the netizens and media persons are curious about the cultural adaptation of this film. Also, the audience who have still not watched the film is curious. For them, this article will clear out the points behind the film. So, let’s move on with the article in the world of Raya and the Last Dragon.

What is Raya and the Last Dragon based on? Culture and Details

This is the most common question which surfaced on the internet since the film was released in theatres and on online streaming platforms. Well, the answer to this question is very simple. The film is entirely based on Southeast Asian culture. Yes, the story is based in Southeast Asia. Likewise, the culture it inherits. Raya and the Last Dragon is the story of a lone warrior named Raya. She is adamant to bring back the last dragon for the sake of her homeland. The story revolves around the land of Kumandra. Kumandra faces threats from some evil spirit named Druun. For the protection of her homeland Kumandra, Raya finds the last dragon Sisu.

Raya and the Last Dragon from Southeast Asia

The film is set in Southeast Asian culture

The animated fantasy film is based in the lands of Kumandra with the beautiful depiction of Southeast Asia and its cultures. This movie is made with the mind to inspire the younger generation. Likewise, to make people aware of the beautiful cultures of our world. It is among the first movies of this kind. The kind which depicts Asian cultures. Small but necessary details were made in the story. The characters were shown taking off their shoes before entering a sacred place or anyone’s house. Likewise, the value of family and communities was depicted in the movie. These values hold utter importance in Southeast Asia.

a still from Raya and the Last Dragon

Depiction of martial arts is a major attraction in the film

The strong and powerful female warriors of great value were beautifully elaborated through the character of Raya. Raya’s bold character and strong spirit dealt with the cultures perfectly. Likewise, martial arts and Kung Fu were a big part of the film. To give the film an authentic feel, crew members were used to sharing their own experiences.

More about Raya and the Last Dragon, The Cast

Half of the crew included people from Asian backgrounds. From choreographers to musicians; from linguists to architects and anthropologists, everyone was a master of this culture. The hiring of cultural experts happened. This was to increase the film’s authenticity. Likewise, the martial artists also belonged to that land. Before the making of this film, filmmakers and artists traveled a lot. They went to Laos, Indonesia, and Thailand. Moreover, they traveled to places like Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore to gain inspiration.

Raya and the Last Dragon- Sisu

A still from the film showing Raya and Sisu

All these efforts turned out to be fruitful. As a result, the film was appreciated by the international audience. Kelly Marie Tran was the voice behind Raya. Likewise, Awkwafina voiced the last dragon Sisu. Other members of the cast are Izaac Wang, Sandra Oh, and Gemma Chan, to name a few.

Also Read: Raya and the Last Dragon: Disney Should Make a Raya/Namaari Romance

Written By

Hey FELLAS! I'm Riya Upadhyay and I live in Lucknow. I'm an avid reader and have my roots in journaling. I'm a K-culture enthusiast and highly indulged in K-Dramas and K-Pop. You can reach out to me at



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