Daniel Dae Kim, who portrays Benja in Raya and the Last Dragon, shares a NYT article about the growing phenomenon of hot animated dads.
Daniel Dae Kim shared a fun response to the love he’s been getting for his animated Raya and the Last Dragon character. The actor voices Raya’s father, Chief Benja, in the film, which premiered on March 5 in both theaters and as a Premier Access release on Disney+. In addition to Kim, the film stars plenty of other big names, including Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, and Sandra Oh.
Raya and the Last Dragon, Disney’s latest animated endeavor, tells the story of a young woman from an ancient fantasy world who must find the last known dragon to save her people from impending doom. Set in a fantasy world that it supposed to represent Southeast Asia, the voice cast for the film is predominantly Asian American. The film has been praised for its stellar animation, well-performed voice acting, and messaging related to women empowerment. However, the film is also being praised for something else a little less technical. Daniel Dae Kim’s character, Chief Benja, has become somewhat of a thirst object after many Raya fans took to social media to express their attraction to the tribe leader and doting, protective father.
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While a fun dive into the lust-inducing qualities of animated dads, the article comes to a more meaningful conclusion. Though the aforementioned animated fathers are deemed physically attractive, the article claims that a large part of their charm comes from their personalities and qualities as stand-up fathers and men. It’s not that the fathers are regular Adonises; it’s that they are, as the article says, “humble-hot.” Buchanan interviewed Daniel Dae Kim for the article, who explained that a large part of Benja’s attractiveness likely comes from his qualities as a strong warrior, an attentive and supportive father, and a compassionate leader. This is something, Kim pointed out, that society harbors a great need for right now.
Though some reactions to the article felt that other former hot animated dads deserved mentions, like Mufasa from The Lion King, many responses generally agreed with the fun article. If animation companies want to continue this trend of hot dads past Raya & The Last Dragon, it’s pretty likely that there will be no complaints. Though these father figures are only animations, they provide a sense of comfort to the audience, no matter the age of the viewer.
Next: Raya & The Last Dragon Shows A Problem With Disney’s Worldbuilding
Source: Daniel Dae Kim/NYT
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