Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles JENNY: To celebrate Women's History Month, today we are joined by Sarah Amos from Marvel New Media. And we're talking Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Raya and the Last Dragon." I'm Jenny. I'm Andre. And we're your hosts for "What's Up, Disney+," where we talk all things Disney+. Let's welcome our first guest. She is the vice president of development and production at Marvel New Media, and she's the executive producer of "Marvel's 616" and Marvel's "Behind the Mask." Sarah Amos, thank you so much for joining us today. Hey, guys. Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here. Well, we are excited to have you here today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what got you started in filmmaking? I just love storytelling. I love picking a topic or getting to dive into an area of history or something that's interesting to me that perhaps I thought I knew, and then, through the process of filmmaking, discover a whole new side of that story that maybe is unexpected, maybe brings out emotion, maybe inspires someone watching at home. Oh, that's great. And what led you to Marvel New Media specifically? I was lucky enough to get brought on as we were kind of building up the New Media team. To me, it just all clicked in exactly the right way. And I was so lucky to get to join the team and really help kind of spearhead a couple of bigger nonfiction projects that started to dive more into the history and the characters, and maybe sides of Marvel Comics that people didn't know existed. From movies to documentaries to comics, Marvel has told so many groundbreaking stories over the years. Are there any in particular that you've connected with the most? At the heart of what Marvel is, it is human stories. And it is about our characters. And you can put them through the ringer. So I love "Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur." I love "Squirrel Girl." I think anyone who wants some humor in their comics is-- yeah, see? You're in. The one that I'm absolutely obsessed with is everything X-Men. There's not a single X-Men comic that comes out these days that I'm not giddy to pick up. You helped bring some amazing nonfiction Marvel stories to Disney+. What made you want to bring people behind the scenes, and what do you hope to discover there? My hope is that everyone takes away something a little different, right? I think the beauty of Marvel is that there is a comic book or a character for everyone, right? You can love drama, or comedy, or action-adventure. You can find the thing that you connect with. And we tried to do the same thing with "616," getting to learn more about the history of kind of how Marvel Comics came to be, and maybe some unsung heroes that you hadn't heard of before, getting to watch a comic book get made. We actually follow one of our amazing writers, Dan Slott. And you get to see the artists at work. To see the way our characters and our stories can really affect people's lives. All of those are kind of real human connection and real life lessons, and kind of inspirations, that I hope people get to enjoy and experience when they watch the series. I loved episode 2 of "Marvel's 616", "Higher, Further, Faster," because it breaks down the misconception that comics are only created by men, for men. So how did it feel to spotlight all of these amazing women behind Marvel Comics? That episode is so special to us. Gillian Jacobs came on really early into the series. And she has a real passion and a dedication to help telling the stories of women who were involved in industries that may be predominantly get seen as male-dominated industries. I think, for me, just getting to learn myself and become educated about these incredible creators, and the journey for women throughout Marvel Comics, was really one of the best things. And seeing the future of where Marvel Comics is going, and the way that we are expanding to include more voices, and to make sure all points of view are represented, and to hopefully put out a product that young girls can pick up or read on their phones and say, hey, I see myself in that. And this inspires me to want to be a part of that industry one day. Like, that's the best thing to get to do. Yeah, it's really empowering, because I feel like shows like this are going to make such a massive-- probably already are making such a massive impact on both boys and girls, because just five years ago, me wearing this shirt would get me questioned. "You're a fake geek girl! You're not really-- you don't read the comics. You don't know what you're talking about. You're just wearing a shirt because you think it's cool." And I think, with shows like "Marvel's 616," audiences get to see, "oh, there are women, lots of women, behind some of my favorite characters and stories, and people of color--" just an array of people that I think the average person doesn't expect. It's a thing of, oh, it's only guys. The larger media perception has been wrong for a long time. And it is assumed that the fanbase only looked like one type of person. And that has not been the case. A lot of the most die-hard fans I know of Marvel Comics are women of color. And like, they can throw down way more facts and information than a lot of what people would consider to be traditional fans. So I do think it's great just to get to showcase the wide array of Marvel fans that really are out there, and kind of be like, hey, guys, this is actually something that everyone can be a part of. Marvel speaks to such a wide range of ages and gender. Tell us why you think it's important to make these stories so accessible. Marvel can be very daunting to people. If you haven't read every Captain America run for the last 40 years, how am I going to know where to even begin? And so we did try to tell stories that, yes, were about our characters and our legacy, but not necessarily just about the comics themselves. There is a larger element of storytelling that goes on at Marvel. And there is a larger message that, a lot of times, we are trying to make sure is encapsulated in the brand and in what we do. And I do think that there are things that people can connect with, even if comics and super heroes aren't their thing. What advice do you have for future creators? Be honest with who you are, and know your own truth, and what you want to take from that and put into your work. And eventually, you will connect with the person that sees your truth the same way you do and will help you get it to a larger audience. Know who you are. Believe in who you are. And then just have the hard work ethic and the determination to see that through. It's been amazing having you, Sarah. Thank you so much for joining us today. Well, thank you, guys. Thank you for having me. It's always fun to get to come, and meet new people, and talk about things I like. Yes! So please go watch "Marvel's 616" and "Behind the Mask" on Disney+. And now, here's what's new. We have new character posters from Marvel Studios' "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," featuring Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, Daniel Bruhl as Zemo, and Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter. The all new six-episode original series starts streaming March 19 on Disney+. JENNY: This Earth Day, take a deep dive with "Secrets of the Whales," an original series from National Geographic, executive producer James Cameron, and narrated by Sigourney Weaver, featuring the expansive knowledge and skill of acclaimed National Geographic explorer and photographer Brian Skerry. "Secrets of the Whales" is streaming April 22 on Disney+. Now we have a special treat from the cast of Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Raya and the Last Dragon." Take a look. Hi. I'm Kelly Marie Tran, and I play Raya in Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Raya and the Last Dragon." In honor of Women's History Month, the woman I would like to honor is my mom. She's an incredible person who left her home country to have a better life and worked so hard to teach me the importance of work ethic and just showing up for others around you, but also for yourself. Hi, I'm Gemma Chan, and I play Namaari in Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Raya and the Last Dragon." To celebrate Women's History Month, the woman I would like to honor is Kelly Marie Tran. She is brilliant, talented, resilient, with so much heart. And I have been so honored to work with her on this project. Now we are here with the team that brought the beautiful Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Raya and the Last Dragon" to life. Kelsey, Gabriela, and Shweta, thank you so much for being here today. - Thank you for having us. - Thank you. Thank you. You worked on the Technical team for the movie. So for those who don't know, what does the Tech team do? The Technical Director team, which is the team that we're currently on, is kind of the bridge between technology and production. It's our responsibility to make sure that we have everything that we need on a technical level in order to complete this movie. None of the work that we do actually shows up on screen. But the TDs end up touching almost every shot that comes through. We work very closely with the artists and with the engineers to make sure that the artists have what they need. It's a little bit behind the scenes, but I feel like it's just as important and it's also super fun. There's always a technical challenge to work on every day. And that's what I love about it the most. It's never the same issue. And it's super fun. You all have been with Walt Disney Animation Studios for years. And you've seen the technology of Walt Disney Animation Studios evolve over time. So I'm curious of what were the steps of evolution of technology that led to "Raya and the Last Dragon." I think "Raya" is really interesting because it's the movie that's brought together the technology that we've been working on probably for about the last 10 years. We have Hyperion, which is our final frame in-house renderer from "Big Hero 6." We also have the water from "Moana," and the advancement of our fur system that we saw on "Zootopia," and our upgraded volumetric and environment toolset systems that we saw on "Frozen 2." We're working on some really cool stuff for the future.