• Amir-Hamza

Disney Release 'Raya and The Last Dragon' Trailer

Disney has represented many folklore stories, myths, traditions and cultures through their animated films and this time they have been working on their 59th feature film based off South East Asian culture: Raya and The Last Dragon. They have released the first teaser trailer for the film. Lets check it out and see what how it looks so far.

  • What we know so far is that the influence is mainly based off South East Asia. With the Disney logo on top of an arch way rock formation commonly found in South East Asian countries.

  • Raya is on a quest to save her people and unify different people groups of the fictional country Kumandra.

  • Some viewers got Avatar The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra vibes from the different people groups shown.

  • One group are cladded in mostly Yellow clothes with curved bladed sickles that resemble the Celurit/Sabit used by the Madurese or the Kujang used by the Sundanese. Both groups are native to Indonesia and the weapons are used as part of the Indonesian Martial Art of Silat.

  • We get a pink/purple cladded group wielding what appears to be Keris or Rencong daggers as indicated by their curved tip and bend at the handle. The Rencong is associated with the Malay and Javanese peoples of Malaysia and Indonesia respectively. The Keris blades are said to be forged using corrosive acid and as a result have venom infused into them during this technique.

  • The third group of people we get a look at are cladded in a grey-blue colours and appear to be wilding some kind of battle axe. Though its harder to decipher what culture this pulls from it's possible the design of the axe is original in itself Though the Moro people of the Philippines uses Axes called Panabas, but they don't resemble what is show in the brief shot. In the background some of them seem to also weld Keris or Rencong style daggers.

  • The Fourth and final group we get a close up of are mostly dressed in white-yellow colours and wielding spears that resemble the Kaoliam (related to the Ankus Elephant Goad from South Asia).

  • Speaking of Elephants, there are War Elephants and Wolves in the background.

  • Raya dresses in green and blue in the trailer and wields two bastons which are a pair of fighting sticks used in Filipino Eskrima.

  • She comes face to face with a mysterious man with a mask influence by the traditional tribes of Thailand possibly inspired by Khon a Thai Dance Drama in which performers wore similar masks to what it seen. It is not clear what kind of sword he is using as it is sheathed and appears to be a double edged straight sword. Most South East Asian swords tend to be curved and single edged.

  • Raya has a cute animal sidekick in the form of Tuk-Tuk, who appears to be some kind of mouse sized bear with an armadillo shell to curl up and roll around in like a Pokemon. Tuk-Tuk maybe loosely based off the Burmese Kyut a malevolent Pangolin or Armadillo like creature that can shape shift into a human and tends to be a trickster though in this case Tuk-Tuk seems friendly.

  • Theres no show of Sisi the dragon however it is said that Sisi will be inspired by both Dragons and Serpent creatures of South East Asia and Water Spirits possibly taking influence form the Hantu Air of Malay cultures. Design wise it is most likely based off the Vietnamese Dragon and colour wise the Seri Pahang, a legendary giant white saltwater crocodile from Malaysian myths.

  • Raya appears to be looking for The Last Dragon who will require a magic gem of some kind to return to their full power. It is possible these gems are based off a type of Agimat (Talisman) called Mutya (meaning Precious, Pearl or Jewel in Filipinos languages). Mutya are said to be formed from a drop of liquid from the heart of a banana tree at midnight and can grant those that consume it powers from Invisibility, Invulnerability, healing, elemental powers and strength.


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