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Raya and The Last Dragon (Review)

RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON Directed By: Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada

In a realm known as Kumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon. (IMDB Synopsis)

Raya and The Last Dragon is easily one of my favorite films of this year and will be a strong contender for best animated film of 2021. The movie is about Raya who is played by Kelly Marie Tran and the last dragon Sisu played by Awkwafina. The character's dynamic throughout the movie is done in such a great way. Chemistry between them seems very real and genuine. A solid friendship blended with two very different personalities. Raya being more strict and serious where Sisu is more playful and silly. Awkwafina is hilarious in this movie and plays such a likable personality. Raya in my eyes is considered a role model from start to end. She is a strong independent protagonist that can take care of herself. Someone that is not afraid to stand up in what she believes in and follows through. The movie adds on more characters along the way in this magical journey which was a clever way to show unity. Everyone is super funny and brings something to the table and helps progress the overall story.

The animation is top notch and you can tell that Disney had a great team behind this movie. The color and artwork are mesmerizing. I do have to say that the movie holds some of the best animated fight sequences that I have seen in a long time. With both protagonist and antagonist being female led, I think this will be a great movie for young girls to watch and have a big positive influence coming out of watching this. The fact is, the movie holds a lot of value for everyone to watch. This includes kids and and older viewers alike. There is a balance between playfulness and serious subject matter. It blends these two perfectly. The movie is ultimately about human behavior. We see that the main cause of the problem with this world is that people just don't trust each other. There are several moments where a lot of the characters make assumptions and show distrust to back this claim up. We then see this amazing payoff at the end that honestly put me into tears several times. Raya and The Last Dragon is able to perfectly present moments of excitement, fear, joy and hope. By the end of the movie, you are gonna be wishing we can take this lesson into the real world.

Raya and The Last Dragon is going to be one of those movies that will stay with you for a long time. I think this is a great movie to teach many life lessons to our younger generation. There are numerous things adults will be able to get out of this movie as well. We as a community need to work together and put our trust in each other to make a better world. If we all live in fear and distrust, there will always be conflict between people. Assumptions about others makes the world a very difficult place to live in. Although this is a work of fiction, there are a lot of real world problems depicted in this movie. Currently being streamed on Disney+, I think it is worth the premium rental cost on the platform. It is the perfect movie for the family to watch together. If you have seen the movie please let me know your thoughts over on twitter @FrederickNuti


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