Raya and the last dragon It is a beautiful and moving surprise. The big selling point is that it’s the first Disney animated movie to feature characters from Southeast Asia, but like many of the top acting films, it tells a story that’s actually woven from reassuringly familiar parts. I didn’t mind it at all.
The film, directed by veteran Disney actor Don Hole and newcomer Carlos Lopez Estrada, leads us into a beautifully imagined fantasy world full of charismatic characters, and it builds to an emotional climax that I can still think of days later. .
The story is a little complicated, as these stories tend to be. Set in Commandra, an enchanting world inspired by the different cultures of Southeast Asia and divided into five kingdoms named after the body parts of a dragon: the heart, the fang, the backbone, the talon, and the tail.
Before becoming extinct centuries ago, dragons once roamed the Earth and acted as friendly guardians of humanity. Their magic lives in a jewel called the Dragon Gem, which is kept in a cave in the heart, but the other four kingdoms covet their mighty powers. One day, the five factions get together and try to reach a peace agreement, but tensions flare up, fight breaks out and gems shatter into five pieces scattered throughout the Commandra. This opens the door to an ancient enemy called Druun, which is a terrible epidemic that turns people to stone.
Naturally, the hero must get up and save the situation. Her name is Rhea, and she is a young warrior princess of heart, voiced by her adorable voice Kelly Marie Tran From Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Raya managed to escape from the drone despite her father BaHeart boss, he’s not so lucky. Now Raya must recover Dragon Gem pieces, reverse the damage and banish Druun forever.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a brave young character go searching for magical trinkets, and Raya and the last dragon It is rooted in the traditional fantasy tradition, with the Lord of the Rings And the game of Thrones Being the most obvious effects. The film’s intense scenes of sword play and hand-to-hand combat impart a stronger and more mature sensation than most Disney animated fantasies – my little daughter had to cover her eyes a few times. Like some of the other Disney princesses, incl Moana And the Elsa, Ria has a bold and adventurous streak and is not interested in romance. Unlike them, she doesn’t even have time to sing a song.
However, the movie still had a lot of wit and humor. Screenwriters Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim introduced Disney’s usual set of cute creatures and lively supporting characters. None of them is hotter than Sisu, a friendly water dragon that was magically resurrected during Raya’s journey. It is the last of its kind, and it has a crucial role to play in the story. It was cheerfully expressed Aquafina, She does one of her standout gossip comedies and sells all of Sisu’s outdated tales.
Raya and Sisu’s journey takes them through all of the Five Commandra Kingdoms, all so vivid and transmissive that I found myself wishing they really existed – or at least I might see them on a proper movie screen. The town of Talon, built on the edge of a river, is a barren desert tailland where Raya and Sisu must enter a cave of obstacles straight from an Indiana Jones adventure.
While the two are looking for more Dragon Gem pieces, they are of course picking up some friends along the way. There’s a smart boy on the street cooking mean shrimp and pickpocketing a little boy that I found more frightening than cute. But the most intriguing character in the movie is Namaari, a rival princess from Fang who was voiced by Jimma Chan. (As a side note, both Chan and Okwafina appeared in Crazy Rich Asians, Who, like this movie, was co-written by Lim.) Namari and Raya used to be friends until they were torn apart by the fight over the Dragon Gem. Now they are sworn enemies, and their emotional dynamics are fierce and complex in ways relationships are rarely allowed in children’s cartoon films, especially between women.
Sisu, on the contrary, are good vibes; She is a dragon, after all, with little understanding of how treacherous humans are. She doesn’t understand why Raya and Namari don’t trust each other, so they can’t just put their differences aside and defeat the drones together. It is the sincerity and purity of Sisu’s heart that makes the ending of the story so unexpectedly exciting, especially now. It reminds us that our destiny is closely related to each other, because it builds a cause for tolerance, reconciliation and mutual sacrifice.
The emotional strength of Raya and the last dragon Creeping up on you. Its lessons aren’t new, exactly, but they do make you feel like you are learning them for the first time.