The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced movie studios to push a lot of bigger movies that some of them have been working on for years into 2021 and beyond. In particular, animated movies take a long time to develop, so movies that studios have been working on for years are getting pushed back further and further. Like every other studio, Disney has had to make decisions about what they want to do about their 2020 releases. Mulan and Soul both are coming to Disney+, the first was a PVOD offering, and the latter is just coming to the streaming service, while movies like Black Widow got pushed back to 2021. Raya and the Last Dragon is one of the movies that pushed back pretty early in the game. The new animated movie from Walt Disney Studios was initially supposed to come out on November 25th and was now pushed back to March 21, 2021. We're coming up on that initial release date, and Disney has dropped the first poster for Raya and the Last Dragon on Twitter and said that the first trailer would drop on Good Morning America tomorrow.
Raya and the Last Dragon was officially announced during the Walt Disney Studios panel at D23 2019. During the panel, they showed some concept art, which has not been released to the public, and announced that Cassie Steele would be voicing Raya and Awkafina would be voicing the titular dragon, Sisu. We didn't hear much about the project for almost a year when in August of this year it was announced that Kelly Marie Tran would be taking off as Raya and that Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada would be taking over as directors with Paul Briggs who was initially tapped to direct the film, staying on as a co-director and John Ripa also joining as a co-director. Unlike live-action films, it isn't uncommon for animated movies to have multiple directors and isn't indicative of massive behind-the-scenes problems but how late in the game it got announced is at least something Disney animation fans should pay attention too.
Raya and the Last Dragon will be released on March 21, 2021.