‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ a film for all

A new Disney Princess is born


Fair use from Disney

“Raya and the Last Dragon” is a film that exceeded my expectations. With powerful imagery and casting that went above and beyond, this action-filled fantasy directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada and Don Hall is marvelous. Made available to Disney+ and recently released to theaters March 5.

The film follows Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) in the land of Kumandra — inspired by many parts of Southeast Asian architecture and culture. Years after magical dragons sacrificed themselves for all humanity, Raya springs into action and begins a quest to find the last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina). While on her journey, she must dodge an old friend turned enemy, Namaari (Gemma Tran). She’s introduced to many memorable side characters who come to join her.

Throughout the film, there’s themes of trust and courage. Raya must have a lot of bravery to take on her quest in the first place, but also have strength to try and restore the trust that is lost between the clans of Kumandra.

The animation was a major thing I found compelling about this film, especially the amount of detail put into the different settings. Food in various places also had immense detail and the five regions with different climates displayed their own set of culture. The region of Talon was what most caught my eye, with its well-lit streets bustling full of life and floating markets.

The character design also really blends well with the voice acting, it makes it seem like the actors were made to voice the characters — voice, personality and design all syncing together. The mix of light blues and purple along with Awqwafina’s voice captures the fun-loving, hopeful and naive Sisu.

The color palette serves a major role in the film as well. It gives the film the whole fantasy feel to it. The array of pastel colors reminds me of various other fantasy films I’ve seen before. Plus, the occasional glowing effect adds more to it.

“Raya and the Last Dragon” is fresh and new, with spectacular visuals as a bonus. Whether you’re a Disney fan or just in the mood for a nice animated movie, this is the film for you.

“Raya and the Last Dragon:” ★★★★★