Raya and the Last Dragon and Southeast Asian Representation

Raya and the Last Dragon and Southeast Asian Representation

The film is a landmark moment for Southeast Asian representation in Hollywood: Raya is Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess, and is voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, the first Southeast Asian actor to lead an animated feature from the studio. “It’s exciting when there’s a shared trait.”The significance of representation in castingOthers in the Southeast Asian community experienced similar responses to Sandy upon seeing the overwhelmingly East Asian cast. “As an Asian actor and writer myself, the pie for Asian actors and Asian American actors is so slim, that I can’t really be mad at these East Asian actors for seeing an opportunity and wanting to be a part of it,” she says. Stories with nuanced portrayals of Southeast Asian characters or Southeast Asia have been few and far between in film and television. “Whereas a lot of our other Southeast Asian siblings and countries aren’t even part of the conversation,” he says.

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