Don Hall, longtime Disney veteran and Oscar-winning filmmaker, spoke about the themes of unity and trust in Raya and the last dragon.
Hall participated in a virtual press roundtable ahead of Tuesday’s personal video release. The Oscar winner was joined by screenwriters Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim. It was the second of two round tables to discuss the film with filmmakers. The other panel discussion included director Carlos LÃ³pez Estrada, producer Osnat Shurer and story manager Fawn Veerasunthorn.
Unity and trust was a big theme of Raya and the last dragon. Can you talk about what you wanted to explore with these themes?
Don Hall: For us, I think it was very evocative. What I actually think is a good theme is that there was a rationale on both sides, to take into account that this world is broken. This has always been the movie and it was about a fractured world and the hope that it could be put back together. What is the barrier to this? What is preventing it? We felt that trust was something very evocative as you could explore it from both sides. Raya doesn’t trust at the start of the film. And I hope that if we have done our job well, it is justified. If I were in her shoes, I would think the same thing and feel the same feeling. To really make it tough, the whole movie is about doing it – can’t make it easy – it’s about making it hard to trust, like stacking the game against him and against all odds by choosing to do it. This is what brings the world back together. I think for us it felt rich even at the beginning, when we started exploring it, not knowing where it was going to go. It was just as if it was going to give us an opportunity for a very rich theme.