Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Quick Reviews/Worth a Watch/Disney

Directed by Don Hall & Carlos López Estrada

Co-Directed by Paul Briggs & John Ripa

Written by Qui Nguyen & Adele Lim

Story by Paul Briggs, Don Hall, Adele Lim, Carlos López Estrada, Kiel Murray, Qui Nguyen, John Ripa, & Dean Wellins

Starring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Sandra Oh, Thalia Tran, Lucille Soong, & Alan Tudyk Release

Date: March 5, 2021

Running Time: 1hr 47min

Rating: PG

Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. However, when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior named Raya (Tran) to track down the last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), reassemble pieces of a magic orb, and stop the Druun for good. Like any heroes journey, she’ll also meet some colorful characters along the way.

The film was theatrically released in the United States on March 5, 2021 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in standard 2D, 3D, Dolby Cinema, and IMAX formats. The film’s release was also simultaneously available on Disney+ with Premier Access, which is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impact on movie theaters across the United States and other countries, with many of them remaining closed. Reviews have been positive, with much of the praise going towards the animation and voice work.

I like basically everyone else for the past 90+ years has grown up watching Disney movies and TV series. So if I can have a chance to see one of their new animated movies in theaters I definitely will! And I’m glad I did! It’s another great entry in their fantastic catalog. The animation is top notch (duh!), the voice acting great (Awkwafina being especially funny, but also bringing pathos), there’s plenty of thrilling action, great humor, heartwarming and or heartbreaking moments, and tons of super cute moments! It’s also nice to see other cultures being explored, and from what I read there was a lot of inspiration from various Southeast Asian countries and traveling to those places to figure out the look of the film. I think animation is an especially great medium to show off different cultures and their folklore.

I definitely say watch it. However, do not waste $30 a month for the Disney+ premium subscription. That is just unreasonable! That’s more than double what an average movie ticket would cost. If you’re not wanting to see it in because of current state of the world (as of this writing), then just wait till June 4, when it’ll be available to regular subscribers. Also, if you see it in theaters, there’s a super adorable shot before it called Us Again. It’s set in a world where everyone seems to always be dancing. There’s this old married couple, and the husband is now a curmudgeon who’s not much into dancing anymore. But then a rain comes that makes him and his wife young again and they dance together like there’s no tomorrow!

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