RAYA AND THE DRAGON (2021) Reviews and overview

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Raya and the Dragon is a 2021 American animated comedy adventure fantasy film about a young girl warrior on a quest to find the last dragon.

Co-directed by Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs and John Ripa from a screenplay co-written by Qui Nguyen and Paul Briggs, based on a story by Don Hall, Adele Lim, Carlos López Estrada, Kiel Murray, Qui Nguyen, John Ripa and Dean Wellins.

The Walt Disney Animation Studios production features the voice talents of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim and Benedict Wong.

Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. However, when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity.

Now, five hundred years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior to track down the last dragon and stop the Druun for good.

Raya and the Last Dragon has it all — rousing adventure, a breathtaking look, appealing characters, and wonderful moments of comedy. This is peak Disney.” The Aisle Seat

“When all is said and done, there is no denying that Raya and the Last Dragon is a powerful and beautiful film. While I take issue with some elements, I am in love with others. The film offers strong characters, a vibrant world, gorgeous action sequences, and a truly unmatched voice cast.” But Why Tho?

“At times, the animation is so stunningly beautiful, there are shots that almost look more realistic than a live-action feature. More importantly, even though this is an animated film, I wasn’t reviewing its animation, I was watching a movie and thoroughly enjoying the story and the characters, and in the end, as with any film, that is what truly matters.” Irish Film Critic

“For some, Raya and the Last Dragon will feel like a glorified video game fetch quest, with the basic plot structure seeing Raya travel far and wide to collect up a bunch of rare relic pieces. This would be a disservice to the film though, which takes those ideas, combines them in with some of Disney’s best modern movie tropes and adds a distinct Asian spin on proceedings to make for a wholly original and satisfying picture.” The Review Geek

“From hairstyles to clothing (color, patterns, textures), to the environments of the five lands, each with different vegetation, building styles or structures, and natural features, to the individual characters themselves, Raya and the Last Dragon delivers world-building wonder and awe in almost embarrassing amounts. Still, Raya’s journey all too often embraces familiar tropes…” Screen Anarchy

“It’s certainly a good family-friendly movie for viewers young and old, but those who have enjoyed Disney Animation’s offerings in recent years will find plenty to enjoy. With richly detailed animation, exciting action and a compelling story about trust, Raya and the Last Dragon has all the makings of a modern Disney classic.” Screen Rant

“The story is exciting and the elements of mythical adventure are spirited, making Raya and the Last Dragon one of the more interesting films to come out of Disney in a while. It’s an animated feature with a positive, sincere message, lively action scenes, and a sweet tale of friendship that can be enjoyed by the entire family.” Screen Zealots

Raya and the Last Dragon is a beautifully animated fantasy/action epic full of exciting adventure and entertaining world-building. This is certainly Disney’s best instalment since Moana, with an equally heartfelt message. I can’t wait to be swept away to the magical realm of Kumandra once again.” We Have a Hulk

Release date:

March 5th 2021

Cast and characters:

Kelly Marie Tran … Raya (voice)
Awkwafina … Sisu (voice)
Izaac Wang … Boun (voice)
Gemma Chan … Namaari (voice)
Daniel Dae Kim … Benja (voice)
Benedict Wong … Tong (voice)
Jona Xiao … Young Namaari (voice)
Sandra Oh … Virana (voice)
Thalia Tran … Little Noi (voice)
Lucille Soong … Dang Hu (voice)
Alan Tudyk … Tuk Tuk (voice)
Gordon Ip … Merchant #2 (voice)
Dichen Lachman … General Atitaya, Spine Warrior (voice)
Patti Harrison … Tail Chief (voice)
Jon Park … Chai (voice) (as Jon ‘Dumbfoundead’ Park)

Technical details:

114 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.39: 1
Audio: Dolby Digital | IMAX 6-Track | Dolby Atmos | DTS | Dolby Surround 7.1

Official trailer:

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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