Raya and the Last Dragon saw a theatrical release in March 2021 and simultaneously made its way to Disney+ with premier access. Directed by Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada and written by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim, the film includes the voices of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Sandra Oh, Thalia Tran, Lucille Soong, and Alan Tudyk.
Disney is Back?
In Kumandra, a united and prosperous land, happiness and peace lose their hold as the land is attacked by a plague that turns everyone into stones – Druun. To save their people, the Dragons of Kumandra use every bit of their magic to put a hold on this rampage but end up turning into stones themselves. A power struggle for the orb divides the Kumandra people into tribes, based on their placement along a giant river that resembles a dragon: Fang, Heart, Spine, Talon, and Tail.
As the story progresses danger surrounds the orb of dragon power as each tribe tries to get a hold of it but end up doing the inevitable and brings death and destruction. Will Raya find the mighty Sisu? Will this rivalry ever come to an end? This is the journey we further follow.
With Raya and The Last Dragon, Disney returns to its princess movie roots. The film takes into account Asian culture and roots and brings forth a princess driven not just by love or desire but by grief and strength like Moana and Frozen. The realm of Raya and the Last Dragon is both vibrant and responsive at the same time, captivating of riches, intricacies, and depth that embraces rather than intimidates the viewers. The film is detailed in terms of its environment and character and offers a character arc and redemption to everyone.
Raya’s journey to acquire all the pieces of the Dragon Gem is specifically defined as a fair redistribution of power and wealth. The Druun are simple killing monsters, yes, but they are also powerful stand-ins for the far more elusive powers that threaten our present and future. In Raya, the task of our saviour is never to reclaim or consolidate power. It’s all about healing society and the community that is long broken. The epidemic of the film, Druun, “one born from human discord,” and its motif of solidarity overcoming partisanship, are undeniably hokey feelings that can resonate strangely at the moment making it one good film.
Throughout its duration, Raya and The Last Dragon keeps you engaged and engrossed with moments that are heartwarming yet strong. After losing a significant amount of time and resources in modernized remakes of classics and live-action films, Disney bringing back its roots is a relief. The film is another example of how animation can really uplift an entire storyline and at the same time denies the possibility of a live-action film of the same as the intricacies of the narrative, setting, and characters are hard to carry forward in a live-action film.
Each character carries a meaning of its own in Raya and The Last Dragon and Sisu, the last Dragon, has to be the most prominent one as it reinforces the idea of unity and trust amongst people despite the hatred that brews within.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Raya and The Last Dragon is a heartwarming and meaningful Disney film that sticks to its roots without romanticizing its heroine’s cause. The film tries to hold on to its Asian roots as much as it could and it will bring a smile to your face!
Raya and The Last Dragon is now streaming on Disney+ and in theaters near you.
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