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Movie Review | Raya And The Last Dragon: The wonderful magic is back

Raya and the Last Dragon's never-ending spirit of hope, homage to culture, message of togetherness in an entertaining story makes it an entertaining action adventure

Critic Rating
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Raya and the Last Dragon review is here. The American computer-animated action-adventure fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada and co-directed by Paul Briggs and John Ripa, Raya and the Last Dragon is written by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim. Featuring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran as the titular Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu, Raya and the Last Dragon is scheduled to be released theatrically on March 5, 2021 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Raya and the Last Dragon review

Yippee. The magic of Disney cartoons and the wonder of the big screen is here again. Refreshingly an enjoyable family adventure pumped with positivity, hope and togetherness, Raya and the Last Dragon is a smartly voiced and wonderfully animated film.

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Blindspotting fame director Carlos López Estrada joins Big Hero 6 fame Don Hall in this South-Asian culture inspired ambitious family toon that adds more power to the Disney women empowerment theme and its classic formula.

Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) has heard stories of the last dragon from her father Benja (Daniel Dae Kim). In the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world – it’s going to take trust as well.

The directors Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada along with the writers Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim use all the known old fashion elements right from Indiana Jones to the Avengers (the stone thing) to even Star Wars and come with something rare even in this so-called cliché – a no villain, no romance animated adventure. Apart from the exceptional Awkwafina as Sisu – the goofy young water dragon not much talking between creatures and humans either. So, it’s more of a human story of hope.

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Voiceovers

The voice over is incredible.

Kelly Marie Tran as Raya, a fierce and courageous warrior princess of Kumandra’s Heart Land is perfect.

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Awkwafina as Sisu, a goofy young water dragon who can transform into a human steals your heart.

Gemma Chan as Namaari, a warrior princess of the Fang Land and Raya’s enemy is fantastic.

Daniel Dae Kim as Chief Benja, the chief of Kumandra’s Heart Land and Raya’s father makes his impact in a brief presence.

Sandra Oh as Virana, Namaari’s mother and the chieftess of the Fang land is fine.

Benedict Wong as Tong, a formidable warrior giant is impressive.

Izaac Wang as Boun, a 10-year-old entrepreneur and owner of the “Shrimporium”, a boat restaurant of the Tail Land is endearing.

Thalia Tran as Little Noi, a toddler con artist of the Talon Land is so cute.

Alan Tudyk as Tuk Tuk, Raya’s best friend and trusty steed that is a mix of an armadillo and a pill bug is awesome.

James Newton Howard’s music makes the journey more beautiful.

The animation is top class, vibrant and colourful.

Raya and the Last Dragon has its share of clichés and at times it is clumsy but the never-ending spirit of hope, the homage to culture and age-old tradition and the message of togetherness wrapped in an entertaining story of a courageous warrior / princess makes it an entertaining action adventure as well.

Raya And The Last Dragon | Voice Cast | Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, Benedict Wong, Izaac Wang, Thalia Tran | Direction | Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada

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