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Does Raya and the Last Dragon have a future in the Disney Parks?

Does Raya and the Last Dragon have a future within the Disney empire?

  • Yes, she will become a Disney Princess and heavily be featured within the Parks and merchandise

    Votes: 5 4.0%
  • She will make small cameos at the Disney Parks (like an appearance in Fantasmic), but nothing major

    Votes: 53 42.7%
  • Raya and Sisu will soon vanish, and the film will be ignored by the Walt Disney Company

    Votes: 66 53.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    124

Ghost93

Active Member
Original Poster
I was blown away when I saw Raya and the Last Dragon in theaters back in March. I thought Disney’s latest animated feature had a fantastic and empowering heroine, incredible world-building, lovable side characters, an exciting story, and what is — in my opinion — the best CGI animation to-date in a Disney film. It wasn’t perfect — the dialogue was too modern, and the story would have worked better as a TV series. But I think what it did well, it did so well, that it’s become one of my favorite films of the modern Disney era (2010-present).

But as much as I enjoyed the movie, I wonder if it will have much of a presence in the Disney parks and the Disney company as a whole. Despite getting very good reviews from critics, the movie generally has not been seen as a financial success, with box office returns of only about $120 million worldwide.

Now obviously, numerous factors were going into Raya’s financial failures. For one, the movie was released in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic with minimal advertising. Disney did the bare minimum to promote this movie. The film was rather leggy at the box office in terms of having no steep week-to-week drops. But when a movie opens at only $8.5 million, that isn’t saying much. Raya and the Last Dragon also had a simultaneous release with premium access. However, since Raya was an unknown IP (unlike Black Widow) and premium access is $30, most people waited to see it on streaming until it became available for free. Throughout the summer, Raya has consistently remained within the top 10 most streamed movies. However, it’s viewership has still been significantly less than the Pixar film Luca (which was released exclusively on Disney Plus).

So what do you guys think the fate of the potential “Raya and the Last Dragon” franchise will be? Will it end up like Atlantis and Treasure Planet — beloved by a small cult following but ultimately forgotten by the average moviegoer? Or do you think it will gradually grow expand its fandom — and thus a presence within the Disney Parks — over time?

Unlike Atlantis and Treasure Planet, which both had mixed reviews, critics have mostly praised Raya. In the wake of criticism over the company’s previously negative depictions of minorities, Disney has expressed a desire to be more inclusive and diverse in the parks and their films. So it might be a good look for the company to highlight its only Southeast Asian Princess.

So what do you guys think? Will Raya become the 13th official Disney Princess and be added to that franchise? Will Raya and Sisu meet and greet opportunities take place at the parks? Could you see any theme park shows or rides based on the film being supported by the company? Is a Disney Plus spinoff possible, like the ones being done for Zootopia, Baymax and Tangled? Could Kumandra be a world in a future Kingdom Hearts video game?

Had COVID-19 not happened and Raya opened its original Thanksgiving 2020 release date, I think it could have been a box office hit. But due to the circumstances of Raya and the Last Dragon’s release, I fear that Raya and Sisu may quickly evaporate from the public consciousness.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
Maybe not the appropriate spot for this thread, but I haven't seen the movie. My understanding though is that it may be an appropriate movie for the Animal Kingdom?
 

DisneyHead123

Active Member
Epcot maybe? Between Raya and Luca in the same summer it almost seems like they’re making an effort to bulk up World Showcase oriented IP. Maybe just coincidence though.
 

Ghost93

Active Member
Original Poster
I think a ride would be a good fit for the Asia section of Animal Kingdom. It could be a water ride (half of the movie takes place on a river), a dark ride, or a flight simulator. I also like the idea of a maze in which you try to find the dragon Sisu. I could also see a restaurant themed after the movie — possibly named after Captain Boun. I like the idea of the movie being represented at the World Showcase, but I'm not sure there is much room for expansion at Epcot.

But if that's too ambitious for a movie that Disney views as a flop, I still think Sisu and Raya could make appearances in Disney's firework/nighttime shows. And I don't see why they can't be meet and greet characters or be featured in parades.
 

Ghost93

Active Member
Original Poster
I think quite a few people have seen it. It’s ok, it’s not the direction I think Disney Feature Animation should go but they didn’t ask me for some reason.
What do you mean by the direction Disney Feature Animation should go? Personally, I would like more movies like Raya. When I saw the movie I thought "This is the movie Brave should have been!" A non-musical princess movie that's actually an epic adventure — not a Freaky Friday/Brother Bear hybrid set in Scotland.

Don't get me wrong, I love Disney musicals as well. I think there should be variety! I think part of the reason the Disney Renaissance came to an end was that the animated films became so formulaic that they all ended up feeling less special. I want Disney to continue to have musicals while also experimenting with new types of movies.

I still maintain that the manner of release (the release date, the simultaneous premium access) and the lack of a significant marketing campaign were the biggest culprits behind the movie's box office performance. I saw much more advertising online for Soul and Luca than Raya and the Last Dragon.
 

TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
What do you mean by the direction Disney Feature Animation should go? Personally, I would like more movies like Raya. When I saw the movie I thought "This is the movie Brave should have been!" A non-musical princess movie that's actually an epic adventure — not a Freaky Friday/Brother Bear hybrid set in Scotland.

Don't get me wrong, I love Disney musicals as well. I think there should be variety! I think part of the reason the Disney Renaissance came to an end was that the animated films became so formulaic that they all ended up feeling less special. I want Disney to continue to have musicals while also experimenting with new types of movies.

I still maintain that the manner of release (the release date, the simultaneous premium access) and the lack of a significant marketing campaign were the biggest culprits behind the movie's box office performance. I saw much more advertising online for Soul and Luca than Raya and the Last Dragon.
I liked Raya better than Brave - but Pixar should have never been making a princess movie in the first place. Imho of course. (Great summary btw... brother bear / freaky Friday hybrid).

I think the formula works. Frozen, Tangled, Moana, Princess and the Frog, etc. - stick to what works and what you are good at.

Raya feels like a weird mix of new Star Wars and Mulan to me.
 

Mr Ferret 88

Don't buy a Honda 😎
Premium Member
What do you mean by the direction Disney Feature Animation should go? Personally, I would like more movies like Raya. When I saw the movie I thought "This is the movie Brave should have been!" A non-musical princess movie that's actually an epic adventure — not a Freaky Friday/Brother Bear hybrid set in Scotland.

Don't get me wrong, I love Disney musicals as well. I think there should be variety! I think part of the reason the Disney Renaissance came to an end was that the animated films became so formulaic that they all ended up feeling less special. I want Disney to continue to have musicals while also experimenting with new types of movies.

I still maintain that the manner of release (the release date, the simultaneous premium access) and the lack of a significant marketing campaign were the biggest culprits behind the movie's box office performance. I saw much more advertising online for Soul and Luca than Raya and the Last Dragon.
You lost all credibility at " This is the movie Brave should have been"
I Cant GIF
 

Piebald

Well-Known Member
I remember something about the 90s where Eisner liked to have costumed characters for movies to promote the film. They usually had 5 or more. Some movies even got parades as we all remember.

Now it seems like less and less (of course some characters and/or movies dont require it or logistically it wouldnt make sense i.e. The Good Dinosaur) to the point where theres very little presence. I'm not sure if its covid or just the company not wanting to spend the money.
 

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