TFK Kid Reporter Abby Rogers spoke with Kelly Marie Tran, who plays Raya in the new animated Disney movie Raya and the Last Dragon. Catch the movie on Disney+ beginning March 5.
1. Can you tell me about Raya and the Last Dragon?
It’s a movie about friendship and learning how to trust. There are a lot of incredible characters, including Raya.
2. How do you feel your character, Raya, changes what it means to be a Disney princess?
People are going to see a lot of things they don’t expect from a Disney princess. Raya is a fighter. There are a lot of action sequences in this movie that people are going to get amped by. It’s really cool to see her and the martial arts that she is a master at.
3. What was your favorite part of acting in this movie?
My favorite part was getting to open the door to that world. I am such a huge fan of Disney animated movies. To be part of one feels crazy to me.
4. Why is representation important in movies?
It is really important to see yourself in stories. An entire team of people went to Southeast Asia to study the cultures there. They were able to bring back all of this incredible knowledge. All of that is seen in the movie. Disney has done an incredible job of making sure that the representation of that part of the world is accurate and true.
5. What do you hope people take away from this movie?
I hope that people will take away that the more we can get rid of our biases about what a certain type of person is like, the more we can work together toward a common good—and the better the world will be. That’s the message.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.