Kingdom and the Last Dragon had been prepared for the past few years. For the sake of this film alone, the filmmakers have researched into six countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Singapore.
"Filmmakers have gone to do research in several countries and explore more deeply in each country. Then came the idea of the main character, a tough female fighter and a dragon," said Adele Lim.
2. Made by filmmakers of Southeast Asian descent
This film not only presents the cultural perceptions of the people of Southeast Asia in the eyes of Hollywood. Rather, the people behind Raya and the Last Dragon did have ties to related countries as well. Including the main voice actor Kelly Marie who has Vietnamese blood and Awkwafina who has Singapore blood.
"The creative team that is the key behind this story are our two writers, Adele who was born and raised in Malaysia and Qui Nguyen from Vietnam. I also grew up in Thailand," said producer Osnat Shurer.
3. Most of the process is done from home
Produced in a pandemic state, it turns out that most of the process for making Raya and the Last Dragon was made from home. Director Don Hall admitted that devoting and executing every idea in the meeting at Zoom was the biggest challenge.
"The difficulty is not a technical problem, but more about how our habits at Disney work are a bit complicated, because we have to switch to Zoom. We rarely even have the casual chats that we usually do when we are on the job," said Don Hall.
When it comes to technical matters, Osnat Shurer finds it even more difficult. As a producer, he must make sure that every decision made by the director goes through virtual channels.
"Animated films are made with thousands of details which also require thousands of decisions from the director. Because we have to use this medium (Zoom), this is not easy," he said.
4. According to Awkwafina, it's fun to shoot from home: you can shoot without wearing pants
Not only making the animation, but filling in the voices of each character is also done from home. Awkwafina joked that filling in Sisu's voice from home was fun because she could do it regardless of appearance.
"This situation is a bit easier because I can record a scene even without wearing my pants. Yes, because all it takes is sound," he said with a laugh.
5. Never know when production ends
One of the moments that Awkwafina and Kelly Marie had experienced as voice actors in Raya and the Last Dragon, they never knew when this production would end. Because, several times they felt that they had done the last scene, but apparently there were still additional scenes for the sound to be taken.
"I don't know when the last recording session was or I felt like this was the last session several times, but it turns out that three minutes later you can shoot another scene next week," said Kelly Marie.
6. For Kelly and Awkwafina, being a voice actor for an animated film is quite difficult
Even though they have voiced voices several times in animated films, Kelly Marie and Awkwafina still find it difficult. One of them is how to express what is in the script into the scene. Sometimes they even have to make absurd sounds without knowing the context.
"I think the most difficult thing is that we never know the specific scene where we play the sound. Like gasping for example, without knowing the context I just make the sound 'argh' 'argh'," said Raya's voice actor.
7. There has never been a dragon as humble as Sisu
Sisu is different from the dragon that has been shown in animated films in general. He is the only dragon who can save mankind. But Sisu is a little special, because of his humility.
"I think there are many dragons in the film world. But usually he has greatness and shows his strength. But Sisu has the idea that he is not the best dragon, and that makes him very fun and different. I think Sisu is very unique in his own way," said Awkwafina .
So, those are the facts behind the process of making the film Raya and the Last Dragon. Don't forget to watch the film, which will be released on March 3, 2021 in theaters and Disney + Hotstar.
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