Disney Animation’s new movie Raya And The Last Dragon might take place in the fictional world of Kumandra, but it’s hugely inspired by images, people, and sites throughout Southeast Asia. Bits of scenery, life, and etiquette are imbued throughout, including things that only people familiar with or raised in Southeast Asian culture would really understand. The movie’s very existence is, in truth, a pretty big deal for Disney fans from the region, and marks the first time that many will have seen a princess—or, truly, even a character—that looks, acts, and fights like them on the big screen.
In the interview above, we talked to the movie’s creators about how all those rich and diverse influences came together in one dreamy Disney soup.
Raya And The Last Dragon is in theaters and available to stream now on Disney Plus.