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Raya and the Last Dragon’s alternative endings have been much darker, creators say

Disney’s latest anime movie, Raya and the Last DragonSet up a solo hero to save the fantasy world of Komandra from Druun. Druun is an ignorant herd that consumes all of its pathways. At the beginning of the movie, Raya is a lonely warrior with a mission to revive the last dragon.

But from the beginning, the filmmaker behind Raya The purpose is to overturn one chosen story.

“I think she’s trying to awaken the dragon. The dragon solves all the problems in the world. And the dragon isn’t. The dragon does something more profound,” said scriptwriter Adele.・ I will explain the rim.

The mysterious last dragon in the movie title, Sith, instead urges Raya to deepen ties with those who were once considered enemies. The idea of ​​connection and trust facilitated the creative direction of the film and informed the many major choices made by filmmakers. The ending has finally been changed to fit where the story ends. Rim and producer Malenut Schuler talk to Polygon.

[Ed. note: This post contains major spoilers for Raya and the Last Dragon]

Image: Disney

Druun, who bothers Komandra and turns civilians into stone, has no agenda of any kind. They are faceless, ignorant beings trying to turn humanity into ashes and cannot be killed with traditional weapons, but they did not begin that way. Schuller says that in the early stages of the film, faceless villains were more perceptual and able to fight.

“The more we think about it, the more we dig into the kind of story we want to tell, and we find it important that it’s about humans,” says Schuller. “It’s about the character. It’s about Raya vs. Namari. It’s almost both sides of the same coin.

The decision to complicate Namari as a character and develop her unique relationship with Raya eventually influenced Droon himself. At one point, Namari dominated Doroon and was a more traditional Disney villain. But Lim says she evolved into a more subtle and ultimately sympathetic character when they chose to go deeper into the character and give her a connection with Raya. The more typical evil villain didn’t fit her story.

Raya and Namari have a unique relationship as a Disney movie. Disney villains like Cruella de Vil and Maleficent continue to be popular, but recent movies in the studio have eliminated traditional villains and Anna and the Snow Queen 2 And Moana Or a whodunit twist Big hero 6 And Zootopia..In the past, when Disney villains had an existing relationship with the protagonist, they usually had essentially disproportionate power dynamics like Mother Gotel and Rapunzel. Tangled Or scar and simba The Lion King.. However, Namari and Raya start on an equal footing as children. As they grow, they are no longer direct enemies and become more dramatic foils.

Namari standing in the desert landscape

Image: Disney

“They know each other as children and now see each other as enemies. They are also like being drawn intrigued by each other,” says Lim. “It was a very new and exciting relationship for the entire creative team.”

By rethinking Druun as an overwhelming power without an agenda, Druun has become a more thematically powerful enemy for Raya and Namaari. Curiously, it has become a very timely force to deal with 2021.

“We were talking about them like a plague,” Shurer said, revealing that the perspective was discussed “years ago.”

However, as the dynamics of the character evolved, the threat of the film changed, but there was one major plot point that filmmakers knew had to happen from the beginning: Raya had to lose the Sith. there was. Indeed, at the climax of the movie, Namari accidentally shoots the Sith. The last dragon has disappeared, and human characters need to understand whether they can protect themselves from the droon without the magic of the dragons that have protected them for so long.

“It overturns Raya’s original expectation that Sith would come and swing his cane and everything would be okay,” Schuller explains. “The solution is in us. We need to trust each other and learn to get together. We knew we needed to remove the dragon from the picture.”

The Sith always intended to die, but there were some things before and after whether she and the rest of the dragons would actually return. Director Don Hall says Sith was really the last dragon and there was a version in which no other dragon could come back. Filmmakers have long wondered if the returning dragon would undermine the ultimate message of the film. But Schuller wanted a happy ending from the beginning, hoping for a big Disney moment that would “song your heart.” Eventually, after going back and forth many times, they decided to accept the happy ending. This actually better speaks to the cultural spirit of the film.

“What we were psychologically digging into was why bring back magical mysterious creatures if we were the solution,” Schuller explains. “The place we arrived is more connected to the perspectives of Southeast Asia and South Asia. It was when we found a solution for ourselves who had the right to reveal mysticism. is.”

Raya and the Last Dragon Available with Disney Plus Premier Access.

https://www.polygon.com/movies/2021/3/5/22313999/raya-and-the-last-dragon-ending-namaari-sisu

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