Disney has made great strides in recent years when it comes to the portrayal of its princesses and thanks to the likes of Elsa and Moana, modern Disney heroines are practically superheroes who don’t need to rely on a male love interest to rescue them. Unfortunately, however, we’re still waiting to see a confirmed LGBTQ+ princess in one of the Mouse House’s animated features. But the star of Raya and the Last Dragon thinks her character might be the one to break that ground.
Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran plays Raya, Disney’s first Southeastern Asian lead, and she recently spoke to Vanity Fair to promote the movie. One of the things VF brought up was the dynamic between Raya and Gemma Chan’s warrior princess Namaari. The royal duo have a close bond in the film, but when asked to define the nature of their relationship, Tran admitted that she thinks there are “some romantic feelings going on there.” She also added: “I’m obsessed with Namaari and I’m obsessed with Gemma Chan. So I’m really excited you brought this up,”
The speculation around Raya’s sexuality recalls the similar reaction to Frozen’s Elsa. When her female friend Honeymaren was introduced in the sequel, fans thought the ice queen might come out, but this didn’t turn out to be the case. There’s hope that it could happen in a threequel, but one has yet to materialize. Going by Tran’s thoughts on her character, though, it’s possible that a Raya sequel could maybe be the one to make this milestone move instead.
For those who haven’t seen it, Raya follows the eponymous heroine as she embarks on a journey to track down the last dragon left alive – the surprisingly goofy Sisu (Awkwafina) – in order to save her kingdom from ancient monsters known as the Druun. It’s yet another slam dunk for the studio, too, standing at a near-perfect 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. If you’ve yet to catch Raya and the Last Dragon, it can be purchased as a Premier Access title on Disney Plus for $29.99.