|Raya and The Last Dragon (2021)|
|Director:||Carlos López Estrada, Don Hall|
|Cast:||Awkwafina, Kelly Marie Tran, Gemma Chan|
|Release Date:||3 March 2021|
Raya and The Last Dragon Plot
Starts with an ancient history where a peaceful land named Kumandra was protected by Dragons against monsters named Druun. The Dragons sacrificed themselves to get rid of Druun & they created a gem from their powers which was safeguarded by the Chief of Heart tribe. 500 years later as a result of misfortune, arises the same monsters & now it is up to the warrior Princess Raya to track down the last dragon & defeat the Druun for good.
Raya and The Last Dragon Review
Raya And The Last Dragon is a coming of age Disney movie that portrays strong female characters throughout the film. It is Disney’s first film that stars Southeast Asian Princesses. It is surely Don Hall’s another well-crafted film after his renowned animated movies like Big Hero 6 & Moana. Raya is the prime character whose father Chief Benji was sacrificed to Druun’s evil magic while saving the gem from other tribes. So now it is up to her to save his father & reunite the people of this valley.
She faces challenges in every step as she searches the missing pieces of the magic gem that could bring back every life engulfed by evil magic. In her journey she makes friends with a baby Noi, a chef guy Boun, a warrior named Tong, her pet TukTuk & most importantly Sisu, the lost dragon. Sisu is the main character besides Raya who is a very respected God-resemblance dragon worshipped by the divided Kumandra tribes, Kumandra that as divided into several small regions due to jealousy & hatred must be united by Raya and Sisu.
What’s New About This Film
It is one of the best Disney animation original in years. It is very exhilarating from an action perspective. The main thing about this film is its emphasis on a matriarchal society where Princesses rules & fights for a greater cause. Gone are the days of a white, blonde princess waiting for the Prince to save the village from threats. The new movies such as Brave, Frozen & especially this one have a tremendous focus on woman warriors who are the center of the films. By having entire brown characters the writers have succeeded in diversifying the animation genre for which I’ll give a big thumbs up to this film. It portrays a culture & society very different from other Disney stories.
The background score by James Newton Howard uplifted me especially the hand-to-hand combat scenes between Raya and Namaari. From an emotional standpoint, this movie doesn’t have many moving scenes like most Disney movies but still, it is good with few memorable scenes. The dragon character named Sisu had a different kind of story & not another “How To Train Your Dragon” one. The story represented the ancient Chinese culture where dragons are worshipped & the highest status among animals, sacred to the people.
It was good to see such an Asian background story, very rare in Disney. The animation, as you can expect is gorgeous & some of the expressions felt very real & life-like in the film especially at the end when Raya and Namaari became close friends. The scenes are very colorful- the lands they visit just pop up on the screen. The Kumandra world is very beautifully detailed & charismatically crafted to fit this magical story.
This is a great family movie that preaches the importance of “Trust”. It is a kind of film which will teach your child a thing or two about the value of friends, families & most importantly faith; very important elements for animation movie genre I think. Good job by Disney for a uniquely different kind of movie that is based on a princess warrior, trying to restore peace, and save the world & their families, with trustworthy friends.