We all know the best part of any Blu-ray or DVD purchase are all of the cool bonus features. Now that Raya and the Last Dragon is available to purchase, the filmmakers are sharing a bit about some of the things left behind on the cutting room floor.
For screenwriter Adele Lim, an early dinner scene was the one she was heartbroken to see go. “We felt like that was the heart of the movie.” When that scene was cut, she was devastated, at least temporarily. “It got reincarnated into all these amazing other food scenes. Things fall away, but then they get reincarnated into like other forms within the movie.”
Director Don Hall reminisced fondly about a scene that was storyboarded where Namaari saved the people of Fang from the Druun. “It was just an amazing Namaari moment – actually kind of too amazing – because that’s a point of the movie where we, the audience, needs to feel like she’s the main antagonist.” To keep those watching the movie from aligning with Namaari too early, that scene was sacrificed.
As one of the martial arts consultants for the film, screenwriter Qui Nguyen was sad to see a training sequence eventually cut when they realized it was redundant within the story. “Being a disciplined filmmaker, you sometimes have to kill your darlings to be able to do what’s right for the story.”
You can check out some of these deleted scenes for yourself when you pick up Raya and the Last Dragon on Blu-ray or DVD.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Raya and the Last Dragon Bonus Features*
- An Introduction to Us Again–Director Zach Parrish takes you behind the scenes of the Walt Disney Animation Studios short.
- Us Again–An elderly man and his young-at-heart wife rekindle their passion for life on one magical night.
- Taste of Raya –Dine along with Kelly Marie Tran and the film’s creative team–virtually–over a Southeast Asian menu inspired by the countries that influenced the film as they discuss their experiences creating the world of Kumandra.
- Raya: Bringing it Home –When the global pandemic of 2020 hit, production of Raya and the Last Dragon moved to the houses of over 450 people. We open a window into their lives and learn how they overcame massive obstacles to make an animated feature from home.
- Martial Artists –You’ll get a kick out of learning about the martial art forms and weapons used in the film as co-screenwriterQui Nguyen and visual anthropologist Dr. S. Steve Arounsack share the inspiration behind the film’s action-packed elements.
- We are Kumandra –Meet members of the Southeast Asia Story Trust and discover the cultural influences that inspired the film…and how important this representation in a Disney animated film is to the people of the region.
- Outtakes –Step into the homes and behind the mics of the cast of Raya and the Last Dragon as they experience voice-over sessions in closets and shaky internet connections, which made recording this film unlike any other.
- Fun Facts & Easter Eggs –Take a look at some of the hidden surprises and behind-the-scenes secrets of Raya and the Last Dragon.
- The Story Behind the Storyboard with John Ripa –Co-Director John Ripa invites you to get an inside look at his thought process as he pitches a storyboard sequence from the film and talks about his amazing career with Disney Animation.
- Deleted Scenes
- Introduction –Head of Story Fawn Veerasunthorn introduces deleted scenes from Raya and the Last Dragon.
- The Bridge –Raya confronts an early version of the Druun in this deleted storyboard sequence.
- Escaping Namaari –See an early version sequence of an introduction to Namaari as an adult.
- Dragon Blade –Discover an early version of Raya’s sword, when it used to have magical powers.
- Meet Boun –Meet an early version of Boun before he was a chef and shrimp boat captain.
- The Heart of the Dragon –Co-Director John Ripa introduces a deleted scene which brought the theme of hope into the film.
*Features may vary by format and retailer
About Raya and the Last Dragon
Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world—it’s going to take trust as well. From directors Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, co-directors Paul Briggs and John Ripa, producers Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho, and featuring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu.
About “Us Again”
Set in a vibrant city pulsating with rhythm and movement, an elderly man and his young-at-heart wife rekindle their youthful passion for life and each other on one magical night. The years fade away as the joy of dancing propels them across the exciting cityscape of their youth and revives fond memories and ambitions. “Us Again” is told entirely without dialogue and set to an original funk and soul musical score reminiscent of the mid-60s.