There’s a bright raya of light for Carlos López Estrada.
The 31-year-old Mexican-American music video, commercial and film director will co-direct Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon, starring Kelly Marie Tran as titular heroine.
Raya and the Last Dragon is set in the fantasy kingdom of Kumandra and follows a warrior who teams up with a crew of misfits in her quest to find the Last Dragon and bring light and unity back to their world. Tran is part of the voice cast that includes Awkawafina, who plays a dragon in human form named Sisu.
Lopez Estrada will co-direct the film with Don Hall, Paul Briggs and John Ripa.
Playwright Qui Nguyen serves as a co-writer with Adele Lim on the project.
“As filmmakers, Don and Carlos bring a combination of animation know-how and emotional storytelling to Raya and the Last Dragon, bringing our fantasy adventure to surprising, original, and dynamic heights,” said Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee. “They both saw the potential for this film and had a strong vision for the story, especially for our lead character, played by the wonderfully talented Kelly Marie Tran. And no small feat, directors Don and Carlos, writers Qui and Adele, and the entire crew of 400 Disney Animation artists are making this film together, while separated and working from home.”
Raya and the Last Dragon is set to debut on March 12, 2021.
Lopez Estrada, who earned a Latin Grammy in the Best Short Form Music Video category for directing Jesse & Joy’s “Me Voy” music video, previously directed Blindspotting.