- “She's the backstabbing Binturi that broke the world.”
- ―Raya, on Namaari[src]
Namaari is the main antagonist of Disney's 2021 animated feature film, Raya and the Last Dragon. The daughter of Chief Virana, she is the princess of Kumandra's Fang Land. Since childhood, Namaari envied the Heart Land's prosperity. Believing the Dragon Gem to be the source of their opulence, she plotted to steal it and use its power to expand Fang's fortunes. Though her cause was noble, Namaari's willingness to perform underhanded deeds to accomplish her mission made her a dangerous adversary.
Namaari was raised in Fang by her single mother, Virana. What became of the father is unknown. From an early age, Namaari revered the long-deceased dragons that once inhabited Kumandra. She owned various artifacts related to the serpentine beings, including a scroll detailing the legend of Sisu and a necklace bearing the water dragon's likeness.
As an adult, Namaari commanded her own unit of Fang soldiers and worked diligently to sustain her homeland's survival. As both a warrior and a leader, Namaari was revered by her people. She was particularly popular amongst children. The dialogue suggests that Namaari had little in the way of actual friends. Her only known companion was her Serlot, a cat-like creature that served as her steed.
- Brilliant, calculating and a formidable warrior, Namaari is Raya’s unrelenting nemesis. She is the daughter of the Chief of the Fang lands and is determined to do whatever it takes to protect her people. However, down deep, she holds a secret love for dragons.
Namaari is a mature young woman who takes great excellence in her leadership. Like Raya, Namaari loves dragons, especially Sisu, and claims to be a “dragon nerd”. Namaari wants the world to be a better place for her people, unlike how Raya and Benja see it. She goes to great lengths to gain her mother's appreciation, even going through betrayal in her youth. Although she appears distrustful to many people, Namaari is really a caring person, who wants the best for her kingdom, people, and family. Even after her past actions, she still admires and believes in Sisu to help fix the world.
Namaari is a young Southeast Asian girl of average height with a slender, slightly muscular build, tan skin, short black hair with a side shave cut, and dark brown eyes. She is noticeably taller than Raya. She usually wears a long pierced earring on her left ear, a beige tank top, a gold belt with a crimson sash, baggy pants, dark boots, and gold arm bracelets on both of her biceps.
Abilities and Weapons
Namaari is a skilled martial artist. According to a conversation with Raya, she prefers fighting with blades over hand-to-hand combat, yet is perfectly capable of besting the former that way in single combat. She is agile and shows great reflexes in combat. Despite hand-to-hand combat, Namaari also possesses her main weapons to fight:
- Dual Swords: Namari's primary weapons are her twin swords, which she often uses for close combat.
- Crossbow: Namari also used a crossbow as a secondary weapon during the film as a threat.
- Namaari’s costumes were designed with sharp edges and harsh shapes to directly contrast the soft, colorful aesthetic of Raya’s clothes.
- Ami Thompson, the character art director for the film, designed Namaari’s facial features to resemble the fierceness of a cat or tiger.
- In some visual development art by Thompson, Namaari is depicted as having a prosthetic left arm.
- Namaari’s fighting style was inspired by Muay Thai kickboxing and Krabi Krabong configurations from Thailand.
- Namaari is the first princess in an animated Disney film to be depicted as an antagonist.
- While recording her dialogue, Kelly Marie Tran personally interpreted Raya and Namaari's relationship as romantic. By Tran's own admission, however, this was not made official by Disney.
- "Raya and the Last Dragon’s Kelly Marie Tran Thinks Her Disney Princess Is Gay". Vanity Fair. Retrieved on March 5, 2021.