CultureHead Magazine

Raya-And-The-Last-Dragon
Image via Disney
Raya-And-The-Last-Dragon
Image via Disney

Whether the $30 fee on Disney+ is worth it will be up to you. However, in my personal opinion, it’s worth the cost. Raya And The Last Dragon is an action-packed film that wastes no time getting from start to finish. It manages to keep you invested in the story while also giving you enough time to enjoy the beauty of the world surrounding the main characters. Kelly Marie Tran gives a fantastic performance as Raya and was surrounded by an amazing cast that most likely wouldn’t have been performed better by anyone else. The movie has dark tones, so you may want to be cautious when showing this movie to young ones.

Synopsis

Image: https://www.deseret.com/entertainment/2021/3/3/22310071/raya-and-the-last-dragon-critics

500 years after the war between dragons and dark spirits named Druun, humankind became divided and fought one another for land and power. When the Drunn return to take life from humankind, a young woman, Raya, and her pet/friend,Tuk Tuk, must find pieces of a dragon gem and the last dragon Sisu. Along the way, she encounters new friends, enemies, and unrelenting Druuns.

Lesson On Trust And Forgiveness

Image: https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/raya-and-the-last-dragon-disney-movie-made-at-home-covid/

At first glance, the lesson on trust and forgiveness feels naive and unrealistic. Upon further inspection, the lesson on trust and forgiveness is shown more accurately than it is told. When talking about trust, the characters discuss being the one to take the first step so others can learn to be trusting as well. Realistically, when that happens, people can still get hurt. That becomes apparent through the consequences of the main characters’ actions. However, as the film progresses, Raya becomes more trusting and sometimes the consequences are small or severe. However, it’s Raya’s trust that helps her through the movie.

Top-Notch Animation

Image: https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/raya-and-the-last-dragon-review-best-disney-princess-movie/

Disney’s animation continues to impress audiences, causing me to widen my eyes in excitement as the movie continues. The rays of sunshine that shine through a forest gave me hope even in the bleakest of situations. The little droplets of water that fell off of Raya’s conical hat made me excited for the fight that was to come. The animators of this film made sure every little detail was shown, from the way the leaves are blown in the wind to the way the water flows downstream. The animation is done well enough that everything looks realistic without having to wonder if it’s still animated or not.

Incredible Action Scenes

Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwLwca1hiNg

Here’s the thing with fight scenes in Disney movies, or movies in general sometimes, they are often cut short or filled with talking throughout the entire fight. Raya And The Last Dragon doesn’t do that, instead, the fight sequences are another factor that keeps you invested in the movie and even helps further the plot. The styles of each person are unique to their tribe and the weapons they use. Hand-to-hand combat is fluid and easy to keep up with what’s happening in the fight.

Representation And World Building

Image: https://www.cbr.com/raya-and-the-last-dragon-kumandra-regions-explained/

When it comes to world-building, Raya And The Last Dragon does a fantastic job of creating a rich and vibrant world, inspired by South Asian cultures, in a short amount of time. Each tribe is different from the last and the history doesn’t feel exaggerated for a Disney film. My only real issue with the film is identifying the culture the tribes are based on. The tribes seem to be a blend of cultures, and identifying what they’re based on can get confusing. As someone who comes from a Thai family, I was excited to see a movie where I can learn a bit more about my culture. Instead, Thai, Vietnamese, and Malaysian cultures were more of the general inspiration of the tribes in the film instead of a representation. Which isn’t bad, but only slightly disappointing. However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy what was there.

More From CultureHead

The Green Knight: A Review

David Lowery’s The Green Knight (2021) deviates significantly from the medieval romance it is based upon. Along with the lush cinematography, Dev Patel

Click Here to read more

7 Best Moments in Marvel’s Loki (2021)

The Loki series may have changed the MCU forever. The Timeline is now free, leaving the stage open for multiverses to interact and

Click Here to read more

What Loki (2021) Means For the Future of the MCU

Marvel’s Loki was a pretty ambitious show, giving the God of Mischief a chance to be a hero and simultaneously rewriting the history

Click Here to read more

6 Easter Eggs in Marvel’s Loki (2021)

The Loki series is littered with Easter Eggs and references to past Marvel movies, Norse myths, and random nods to pop culture. Episode

Click Here to read more

Our Favorite Characters From Sweet Tooth, Ranked

The new fantasy drama series Sweet Tooth (now streaming on Netflix) is a refreshing take on the apocalypse genre, filled with anthropomorphic characters,

Click Here to read more

The Activision-Blizzard Lawsuit is an Industry Issue

Activision- Blizzard, The developers of world-renowned games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch are involved in another disaster. A lawsuit

Click Here to read more

5 Shows Similar To The Fantasy Drama Series Sweet Tooth

The new fantasy drama series Sweet Tooth (now streaming on Netflix) is a mix of many different things: viral pandemics, surviving in the

Click Here to read more

5 Reasons to Watch Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth (now streaming on Netflix) is a lovely fantasy drama series that features a viral pandemic, very adorable half-human and half-animal children,

Click Here to read more

What’s Florence Pugh’s Future in the Marvel Universe?

The much-awaited Black Widow (2021) movie features our favorite Avenger (played by Scarlett Johannsson) retracing her family roots and facing her past tormentors.

Click Here to read more

Shiva Baby (2021): A Review

Written and directed by Emma Seligman, Shiva Baby focuses on Danielle (Rachel Sennot), a young Jewish bisexual woman who attends a “shiva” (the Jewish morning

Click Here to read more