While the Walt Disney Animation Studios movie Encanto has been stealing the show lately with multiple Annie Award nominations, a soundtrack that’s beaten Frozen‘s record, and the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature under its belt, it seems easy to forget about the 2021 animated movie Raya and the Last Dragon on Disney+.
However, Raya, Sisu, and their friends refuse to be left out! As awards season continues, Raya and the Last Dragon has gained more momentum and continued to make its way onto award lists alongside competitors like Encanto or box office hit Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings.
Now, both the movie itself and one of its lead actors is receiving even more nominations for awards. Raya and the Last Dragon just won the award for Best Animated Feature (with an honorable mention for Best Original Screenplay) from the Gold List for Asian filmmakers or Pacific Islanders in film, and both the film and voice actor Awkwafina just received NAACP nominations.
The Disney film itself is nominated for Outstanding Animated Motion Picture, and Awkwafina is nominated for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance in a Motion Picture. Awkwafina also won Best Supporting Actress in a Supporting Role for box office hit Shang-Chi from the Gold List.
This Disney animated film stars Kelly Marie Tran from the Star Wars franchise as Raya, a Disney heroine living in Kumandra. Awkwafina plays Sisu, the dragon that Raya befriends on her quest to bring back all dragons, and Gemma Chan plays antagonist Namaari. This movie has incredible fight sequences, beautiful animation, colorful scenery, detailed references to Southeast Asia, and enough visual pleasantries to receive ten Annie Award nominations (more than both Encanto and Luca). The movie was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, although it lost to Encanto.
Although the rapper Awkwafina did not become well-known as an actress until her work in Crazy Rich Asians (2018) and Ocean’s Eight (2018), she has now become a Disney and Marvel staple. Ironically, Awkwafina has worked with Michelle Yeoh in both Crazy Rich Asians and Shang-Chi, and she also worked with fellow Marvel actress Gemma Chan on Crazy Rich Asians.
Now, both Gemma Chan and Awkwafina are making the rounds during awards season, with Gemma Chan just winning a Best Actress Award for Eternals (2021) and Awkwafina already winning one and now being nominated for another. Awkwafina has also won a Golden Globe and a Satellite Award.
Have you been following the success of Raya and the Last Dragon or Awkwafina, and have you seen these fun behind-the-scenes photos from Shang-Chi? Are you a bigger fan of live-action Disney movies, or do you prefer Disney movies done in the style of Walt Disney Television Animation?