“Raya and the Last Dragon” soars in animation, dips with predictable plot


“Raya and the Last Dragon” graphic courtesy of IMDB

Disney’s newest film “Raya and the Last Dragon” stays true to form — full of bright colors, lovable characters and family-friendly messages about trust and unity — but does not make itself unique.
Released Mar. 5 on Disney Plus and directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, the film follows Raya (Kelly Marie Tran), a guardian of the Dragon Gem that vanquished the soul-stealing Druun demons 500 years ago.
Amid the tribal chaos that ensues as the Druun return, Raya sets out on a six-year journey to rebuild the Gem and search for the vanquisher of the Druun: the last dragon Sisu (Awkwafina).
The world is amazing. From the colorful trading post, snowy bamboo hills, to the vast deserts, every place is filled with different kinds of people and traditions.
The animation stuns you. Colorful night cities, dragons soaring in the rain and characters dancing through combat all add to the creation of this wonderful world.
The characters are also well-developed and voiced, each having their own quirks and avoiding dull moments.
But, as with most Disney films, this film is predictable. Every problem has an easy solution.
Even though I did enjoy the design of the film, I can easily compare its plot to any of Disney’s library of movies.
The price is also an issue. The movie is only being shown in a few theaters, so you must likely pay $29.99 in addition to the membership fee for Disney Plus to watch it on release.
Many movies during the pandemic have been released either for rental or in pre-paid subscription services. Disney should be ashamed that it puts double paywalls on its films during these difficult times.
This is not a film you need to rush and see, but I recommend viewing it after June 4, when it becomes free for Disney Plus subscribers.
Rating: 4 out of 5