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‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Director Carlos López Estrada Exits Walt Disney Animation

Raya and the Last Dragon director Carlos López Estrada has confirmed he is leaving Walt Disney Animation Studios after three years. Estrada shared the news with fans on Instagram Monday morning.

“After the most beautiful 3 years, my time at Disney Animation has come to an end. I love this place and all the people in it, but it’s now time to keep growing”

Joining Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2019, Carlos López Estrada worked at Walt Disney Animation Studios on Frozen II, directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and recently as co-director on Raya and the Last Dragon, alongside Don Hall.

It is unknown at this time if the director will stay on board Walt Disney Studios’ Bambi remake, which has yet to get an official greenlight, as Disney was working on some internal things on the project. He was also set to direct an original animated film (tentatively titled Foster) at Disney, which already has a script, storyboards, and music, set for release in November 2023. A new director will most likely come on board to take over directing duties, but we likely won’t get an update on that until Disney’s D23 Expo, this September.

Raya and the Last Dragon, now streaming on Disney+, takes us on an exciting, epic journey to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where Raya, a lone warrior, must track down the legendary last dragon to stop an evil force that has returned after 500 years to once again threaten her homeworld. The film features an outstanding voice cast, including Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Jona Xiao, Sandra Oh, Thalia Tran, Lucille Soong, Alan Tudyk, Gordon Ip, Dichen Lachman,  Patti Harrison, Jon “Dumbfoundead” Park, Sung Kang,  Sierra Katow, Ross Butler, François Chau and Paul Yen