LOS ANGELES -- It's been one year since everyone had to quickly adjust when the first stay-at-home orders came down. That directive also landed on the folks at Disney Animation, who had just started working on the film "Raya and the Last Dragon."
The film offers everything we've come to expect from Disney: state of the art animation blended with a heartfelt story. But there was a "first" for this film no one could have anticipated.
"Ninety-five percent of the production of this film was done at home," said director Don Hall.
"We made the movie, most of it, the production was done from over 450 homes," said producer Osnat Schurer. "And yes, there were some technological issues, for sure, but those were solved relatively quickly."
The pandemic meant producers sent everyone home to work for what they thought was a short time. Instead, they were challenged with coming up with an entirely new way to work.
"I can honestly say that has never been a thought that entered my head, that I would be asking Daniel Dae Kim to 'Please, open your closet for us so that we may record you,'" laughed Hall.
Kelly Marie Tran voices the title role, and fortunately, her industrious boyfriend was able to build her a make-shift "fort" as a voice-over booth.
"It was composed of sound blankets duct taped to the wall, and furniture pushed together to make a little rectangular booth. That's how glamorous recording this movie was," said Tran.
Awkwafina is the voice of Sisu, the last dragon. Disney sent her a giant tent to help with her sessions.
"It took up most of my living room, and I put in a carpet, put in a little light. It was such an intimate vibe, it was like 'I want to write my next great novel in here, I think I want to make this my writer's studio,'" Awkwafina said.
"Raya and the Last Dragon" can be seen starting Friday, March 5, on Disney+ Premier Access.