Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Raya and the Last Dragon.
The story was a nice combination of fetch quest, found family, and post apocalypse. The message was nice and I like the way they ended it. I feel like there was something missing, but that could just be my love for the Moana twist and complexity of Frozen II.
Raya and Namaari had really nice character arcs, but the others felt like they were there for merch or to fill space. I know it’s only a single movie but I would have liked more development for the other characters. That said, what they did have was fantastic.
The movie was an epic fantasy with elements of westerns and post apocalypse. The dialogue was so modern as to be jarring to start with. I’m not sure why it hit me harder than Emperor’s New Groove, Aladdin or Frozen’s but it felt very new lingo filled (it could also be that I’m getting old). It just really felt out of place.
Visuals and Music
Wow. This movie is spectacularly beautiful, the animation is unparalleled. I wanted to rewind just to watch a character walk through a puddle.
The music was wonderfully evocative. It captured the setting and the cultures while still being Disney. I did miss the musical aspects of some of the previous movies, but it wouldn’t have fit.
The worldbuilding was beautiful and the strong but traumatized hero was a wonderful change. The whole family was riveted and it was absolutely beautiful. I enjoyed the whole thing and look forward to rewatching it.
A spectacular fantasy movie that deviates enough from Disney that hardcore Princess fans will be upset while not deviating enough to make disney critics like it. Taken on it’s own without it’s studio’s baggage, it is absolutely stunning and a wonderful watch.
Final Score: 4 stars out of 5