When it comes to Raya and the Last Dragon, everyone from the animators to the voice cast had to adapt once the stay home orders for COVID-19 kicked. There were certainly some bumps along the way, but this Friday, the movie finally came out. It's Disney's second attempt at putting a movie on premium access and in the box office. At the moment, it's the only movie that is going that route, but there could be more on the horizon depending on how quickly life returns to normal. During a virtual press conference, Daniel Dae Kim was asked about his character of Chief Beja and revealed that he had some technical difficulties trying to record his lines from home.
"It's really great, actually. I love the character a lot," Kim explained. "He's someone that I aspire to be. It's nice when you can really take a lot of pride in the person that you're playing. It was amazing actually being able to record from home because, living in Hawaii, any time I try and travel to go shoot something, it's at least five hours and sometimes eleven by plane. So, to be able to walk downstairs in my T-shirt and shorts was pretty great. Although I will have to say, it wasn't without hiccups. Carlos and Osnat and Don, you guys will all attest, in one of my very first sessions from home, most of his dialogue where he's talking about Kumandra and establishing a relationship with Raya went missing. We had put in a good half hour. I said half-hour last time, but something tells me it was more than that, wasn't it, Don?"
Directors Carlos López Estrada and Don Hall said that it was a lot more than the half-hour that Kim thought it was, probably closer to an hour of footage for Raya and the Last Dragon.
"Okay, so I recorded for an hour," Kim continued. "We did some great stuff. And at the end of the hour, we were supposed to upload our packets to Team Disney. And as I was uploading my packet, I realized that I had recorded none of that past hour. So this is what happens when you leave the recording and the technical stuff to the actors. So, we lost that hour, but I learned my lesson. And, it was kind of hassle-free the rest of the way."
So the next time you accidentally leave yourself on mute in a zoom conference, know that Hollywood productions like Raya and the Last Dragon were going through the same growing pains that the rest of us did when it comes to working from home.
Summary: "Raya and the Last Dragon" takes us on an exciting, epic journey to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons lived together long ago in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned, and it's up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. However, along her journey, she'll learn that it'll take more than a dragon to save the world—it's going to take trust and teamwork as well.
Raya and the Last Dragon, with Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada directing and Paul Briggs and John Ripa co-directing, stars Kelly Marie Tran as the voice of the intrepid warrior Raya; Awkwafina as the legendary dragon, Sisu; Gemma Chan as Raya's nemesis, Namaari; Daniel Dae Kim as Raya's visionary father, Benja; Sandra Oh as Namaari's powerful mother, Virana; Benedict Wong as Tong, a formidable giant; Izaac Wang as Boun, a 10-year-old entrepreneur; Thalia Tran as the mischievous toddler Little Noi; Alan Tudyk as Tuk Tuk, Raya's best friend, and trusty steed; Lucille Soong as Dang Hu, the leader of the land of Talon; Patti Harrison as the chief of the Tail land; and Ross Butler as chief of the Spine land. It will be released in theaters and Disney+ Premiere Access on March 5th.