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‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ gets same day theatrical and Disney+ premium release

By Kara Santos Published Dec 15, 2020 4:49 am

Disney’s computer-animated fantasy Raya and the Last Dragon is all set to debut on Disney Plus the same day it hits theaters on March 5, 2021.

The announcement was made during Disney's Investor Day, that Raya would be a premium release similar to the live-action version of Mulan released earlier this year.

The animated film will initially be available to rent on Disney Premier Access for a $30 rental fee. Only Disney Plus subscribers will be able to watch the film on the streaming service. After debuting on the service, Mulan was eventually made available to watch on a regular subscription without the extra fee.

With its premium price tag, this makes Disney's latest animated film a bit more exclusive than normal video on demand rentals, while still being affordable enough for families who might spend more to take kids to actual movie theaters.

With many cinemas worldwide still closed due to COVID-19, Disney's decision to release some movies to Disney Plus is seen as a way to bolster the service and reach a wider audience.

Along with the announcement on its dual release strategy, Disney also shared a first look at some new cute and quirky characters that will appear in the film in a series of Tweets: "Meet the street-savvy entrepreneur Boun and formidable giant Tong and a thieving toddler Noi with her band of Ongis..."

"Their only hope is a magical, mythical, self-deprecating dragon named Sisu. Raya and the Last Dragon comes to theaters and on #DisneyPlus with Premier Access on March 5, 2021. #DisneyRaya

Raya and the the Last Dragon features the voices of Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina. The story unfolds in the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons lived together peacefully. That harmony is interrupted when sinister monsters known as the Druun threaten the land, which causes the dragons to sacrifice themselves to save humanity. Some 500 years later, those monsters return. Facing disaster, a lone warrior, Raya, tracks down the last dragon to aid her and save the kingdom.

As previously reported on Geeky, Disney borrowed heavily from Southeast Asian culture as the inspiration for the visually stunning fantasy land of Kumandra, combining cultures from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Laos.

Raya and the Last Dragon will premiere on Disney Plus Premiere and theaters on March 5, 2021.

(Images via Disney)