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‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Getting Simultaneous Disney+ and Theatrical Release

Disney Animation’s upcoming animated fantasy-adventure will be available to subscribers of the streaming platform for a premium fee on March 5, 2021, the same day it hits cinemas.

Following in the footsteps of Warner Bros’ announcement last week that not only their upcoming December 25 Wonder Woman 1984 release, but entire 2021 slate of feature films, would each debut on HBO Max the same day it opens in theatres, Disney has just announced that its next tentpole animated feature, Raya and the Last Dragon, will premiere on Disney+ and in theatres simultaneously on March 5, 2021, according to Variety.

The 3D/CG animated fantasy-adventure, helmed by Carlos López Estrada and Don Hall, will be available to rent only by subscribers to Disney’s streaming platform, for a premium $30 fee. The announcement was made at today’s Disney investor presentation.

Raya is set in the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons once lived together in harmony. An evil force has returned to threaten the land 500 years after dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. A lone warrior, Raya, must track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. The film is co-directed by Paul Briggs and John Ripa, and produced by Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho. Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim are the film’s writers. It stars Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as the last dragon, Sisu.

Earlier this September, with most theatres closed due to COVID-19, Disney released their live-action Mulan remake as a premium offering on Disney+; their live-action Artemis Fowl premiered on the streaming platform as well after a canceled theatrical release. Pixar’s upcoming animated feature, Soul, is also bypassing theatres and instead, will debut Christmas Day on Disney+.

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.