Well, it’s finally happened, we have reached the unofficial start to The Disneyathon Part 23! My series will now be forever out of date until the day I decide to make that part 23 post. Thanks Disney, for putting more things on my plate!
The latest entry into the Walt Disney Animated catalogue, Raya and The Last Dragon, has finally come out to certain cinemas and to all who have Disney+ and are willing to cough up the $35 dollars in order to access this swanky new exclusive film. We’ll touch on that at the end of this review, as to whether Raya is really worth the price of your average movie ticket or the 35 buckaroos on Disney+ or if it’s best to wait ’til June the 4th where it will be available on the service for free.
Raya and The Last Dragon is a movie I suspected would be much different from how I interpreted the trailer. Raya is a lone warrior who has nothing but her sword, wit and the animal friend she rides on as she travels the barren desert so she can complete her one objective and will stop anyone who gets in her way, as no one can be trusted! What I just described is in the movie, but I must have expected something more mature and less comedic in a Disney family film. (Marketing threw me off again!) While there are certainly dark moments in Raya, intense enough to make the two toddlers in my cinema cry, they were easily overshadowed by the comedy and wacky characters which should have keep them laughing, rather than whining. A true PG movie.
To talk about the film’s strengths, one of them would be the worldbuilding. Disney movies in the past have done this well, but what I like about this is how it ties to one of the major themes of the movie and that’s how human selfishness and greediness is the only reason why all these nations on the dragon shaped river are now in complete ruin and are stuck with these smog monsters that turn people into stone. I also enjoyed the character of Raya played masterfully by Kelly Marie Tran. She had some good comradery with Awkwafina’s character Sisu, The Last Dragon. Lastly the animation is exceptional, but that’s far from a surprise at this point.
What I didn’t like is how the movie strangles us with the message of “you need to learn to trust others”. A dubious lesson in a post apocalyptic world where doing so will likely lead you down the quickest route to a death sentence! It felt very forced, especially at the ending where I just didn’t buy it! It became too silly for my liking even before that, as Raya and her dragon friend started picking up some zany sidekicks to join her on the quest to collect the broken gem pieces. These characters did distract from the main quest and relationship, which is a shame too as the start of the movie had some promise even if it was super predictable! You might argue that I’m being harsh and my extensive knowledge of Disney movies is the only reason why I found Raya so predictable, but I would argue that you haven’t seen too many movies my friend.
Overall, I would say that Raya and The Last Dragon is a bit above average. It’s entertaining enough to keep me interested, but I wouldn’t say it’s enough to make me want to seek it out again. As to whether to watch it at the cinema (if you can of course) or on Disney+, I would wait, unless you need something to watch with the family.
Has anyone here being keeping up that new WandaVision show, because that’s what we’re looking at next on this site. That’s all I have to say here. So long, take care, BC out!