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Disney Animation teases with Raya and the Last Dragon and Frozen 2

By Andrea Ayres & Don Kaye

Disney Animation has announced the animated film Raya and the Last Dragon at D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. Directors Dean Wellins and Paul Briggs will develop the film, slated for Thanksgiving 2020 release. The animation studios heated things up even more with some delightful Frozen II details!

Raya and the Last Dragon is written by Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asians) and is inspired by the people of Southeast Asia, including the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, and Malasia. Lim and producer Osnat Shurer were on stage to discuss the creative vision of the film, which is working with locals on the ground to tell an authentic story with voices we don't often get to hear from or see in Western films.

Check out the new concept art for the film just released:

The film is billed as an epic fantasy adventure that takes place in the fictional land of Kumandra, a reimagined ancient Earth that venerates dragons. The dragons have left Kumandra, and a sinister force begins to take over. Raya (Cassie Steel), the lead character in the film, goes on a quest to find the Last Dragon. The Dragon, whose name is Sisu, will be voiced by Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians). In some exclusive footage shown to the audience at D23, Raya finds Sisu in human form. Sisu will need Raya's help to reclaim her dragon form and powers.

Here's a look at the new logo, just released from Disney Studios for Raya and the Last Dragon.

We also got a look at the cast of Raya, pictured below:

Frozen II is up next! We finally got some more details about the sequel to the animated blockbuster from the film's director, Jennifer Lee, and co-director, Chris Buck. Buck says, "Frozen II is bigger and more epic." He says the two films will work together to form one epic story.

The film will start in the past, with the parents returning at the start, with the girls' mother voiced by Evan Rachel Wood. As annouced back in Feburary, actor Sterling K. Brown will voice the role of Lieutenant Matthias.

In footage shown to the audience can be heard singing a lullaby to Anna and Elsa. The preview depicts Kristoff with a wedding ring, but he can't seem to find the courage to propose to Anna, as she is too distracted by her concern for Elsa. Elsa is worried she can't measure up and is afraid of making mistakes. She also keeps hearing her mother's voice, and it's a song she can't ignore. The mysterious voice serves as the basis for the first new song from Elsa, called “Into the Unknown.”

The cast came onstage to perform a song from Frozen II. The cast includes Kristen Bell (Anna), Josh Gad (Kristoff), Idina Menzel (Elsa), and Jonathan Groff (Sven). Groff carried a stuffed Sven on stage! The cast sang a new song from the film called "Something's Never Change." The songs for the film are once again courtesy of the Oscar-winning duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

By the looks of it, Frozen II is just going to make us cry the entire way through, so be sure to bring your tissue! The film is scheduled for release on November 22, 2019.

Here's a look at the new poster from Frozen II:

The teaser trailer for Frozen II was released back in Feburary. The trailer hints at us finally discovering where Elsa's powers originated. 

This story is developing; we'll update with more information as it becomes available! Be sure to keep your eyes on SYFY WIRE as we bring you all the news from D23 this weekend!