The Malaysian behind Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess in Raya and The Last Dragon

The Malaysian behind Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess in Raya and The Last Dragon

The person who brought cultural authenticity and depth to the 2018 hit Crazy Rich Asians, Adele Lim, is also one of two screenwriters for Raya and The Last Dragon. She expressed her gratification of being a Southeast Asian woman and having the first Disney princess be inspired by her culture and her people feels like a huge move in the right direction. 


The word “raya” is in many languages and it carries various meanings. In Bahasa Melayu, “raya” means “celebration”—a word most of us will get excited upon hearing. Thus, the name of Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess fits incredibly well with the character because ultimately, there is so much to celebrate and be excited about Raya and The Last Dragon, mainly for it being a film of many firsts.


Raya and The Last Dragon is Disney Animation Studio’s first movie inspired by Southeast Asia, making Raya the world’s first ever Disney Southeast Asian princess. Not only that, Kelly Marie Tran who played Rose Tico in Star Wars, is also the person who voices Raya and is of Vietnamese descent. She is the first Southeast Asian actress to lead a film from Disney.


Due to the current global Covid-19 pandemic, the team for this film was dispersed across countless remote locations so the voice actors recorded directly from their own homes making this film the first Disney Animated features of this nature. One can only imagine the hard work and effort the team put in to make this film possible!


But the greatest of all, for us, is the fact that the screenwriter behind all this is Malaysian Adele Lim. We are proud, we are overjoyed! 


Share this pride with us and cop your very own Raya and The Last Dragon pop!


Credit: CNA Lifestyle

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