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 ‘Raya and the Last Dragon,’ due for release next year, brings pride to Cambodia

Taing Rinith / Khmer Times Tue, August 4, 2020

A poster of the film ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’. Disney

PHNOM PENH – In the past week, the upcoming Disney animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon” has drawn special attention among Cambodian social media users and cinemagoers, thanks to its connection with the Kingdom’s history and the fact that Disney sought consultation from a Cambodian historian while making the film.

The film, according to Disney, is set in a fictional fantasy land called Kumandra, which is based on Southeast Asian cultures from countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Laos. In the story, a fearless and passionate warrior called Raya is on a quest to search for the last dragon of the land.

In 2018, the studio’s production team traveled to Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia to conduct pre-production research. During this time, in Cambodia, Dr Chen Chanratana, an archaeologist and the founder of the Khmer Heritage Foundation, was recruited by the team to be its consultant on Cambodia.

“It is a great pride for me as a Cambodian scholar,” Dr Chanratana says. “No matter who is producing the film, “Raya and the Last Dragon” is showing Cambodia’s great culture and civilisation to the world.

In Cambodia. Dr Chanratana adds, the production team was very interesting in the Kingdom’s ancient temples and Bokator, a Khmer ancient martial art but cannot reveal more detail of the film.

“Raya and the Last Dragon was originally scheduled to be released in the United States on November 25, 2020. Yet, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been rescheduled to March 12 next year.


Source: KHMER TIMES, CAMBODIA Tue, August 4, 2020

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