On Friday, March 5, movie lovers were treated to the latest animated Disney film: Raya and the Last Dragon. Set in a fictional Southeast Asian land called Kumandra, the film follows the story of Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran), princess of the Heart Kingdom, on a quest to find Sisu (voiced by Awkwafina), the last dragon, reunite the pieces of the Dragon Orb, and reunite the kingdoms.
Most of the animated work on the film was done from home, an amazing feat looking at the amazing detail put into the snowy, but well forested kingdom of Spine, and the iridescent colors in Sisu’s fur.
However, what makes the $30 premium streaming fee on Disney+ worth it isn’t just the amazing actors, stunning art, or action-packed storyline. The ultimate message of the film is to trust others, and value friendship over fighting, despite the hardship the characters face. In a time of chaos and uncertainty, a little trust can go a long way.
I personally liked the movie because it gave the world a new Disney princess from a different ethnic background, increasing cultural diversity in their films. I also enjoyed that Raya was both a fierce and strong female lead, but also compassionate and willing to sacrifice anything for her loved ones. Of course, I do wish we had seen more of Tuk Tuk, Raya’s adorable animal sidekick. Other than that, I think Raya and the Last Dragon deserves a high-ranking spot on any movie watcher’s “To Watch” list.