In Review: Raya and the Last Dragon (Disney +)

'Raya and the Last Dragon' is a wonderful fantasy movie with some brilliant action set pieces and great animation.
Raya

Synopsis: On ‘Raya and the last Dragon’ Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people.

Review: Available as a premier access title on Disney +. ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ is really one of the many films that fans would be experiencing on the Big Screen. Were it not for a certain pesky pandemic. At present viewers can access the film and watch it as many times as they like for £19.99 or $30.00 in the USA. But is it worth the cost?

 

The Story

This movie begins with Benja the leader of the Heart clan of Kumandra trying to broker peace with the other tribes. These tribes include the Fang, Heart, Tail, Spine and Talon. The Heart tribe, which Benja leads has possession of the Sisu Gemstone, which the mighty dragon Sisu used to defeat the Druun. The Druun are nasty balls of darkness that turn anything in the path into stone. Unfortunately, Benja’s hopes of uniting the clans is quashed when the Fang tribe betrays him and the other clan leaders and tries to steal the GemStone. But in the act of stealing the stone. It gets broken into five pieces and the Druun return.

Six years go by and Raya. Who is now a teenager is on a quest to find Sisu and get the last dragon’s help in returning the Gemstone to its former glory. Along the way Raya and  Sisu make some friends who all have belief in trying to unite Kumandra.

 

The Voice Acting

This film is somewhat of a rarity in that a majority of the voice talent is of Asian origin, which is a big thing when it comes to proper and proportionate representation in a film. Kelly Marie Tran provides her vocal talents for Raya and really imbues her with a likable spirit. Furthermore, she manages to make even a grizzled old cynic like me believe in dragons. I particularly enjoyed the scene in which Raya meets with Sisu for the first time. Sisu who is voiced by Awkwafina tells of how she and her sisters fought the Druun. She reveals that it was her and the four remaining dragons who created the Gemstone. Additionally, Sisu says she is nothing special. However, as the story moves forward. We learn that Sisu along with Raya and their friends are indeed very special.

Gemma Chan who Sci-Fi Fans will know from shows such as ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Humans’. Does a wonderful job of playing Namaari who is  Raya’s enemy for much of the movie.

Overall. The voice performances throughout this film are brilliant. And we also get a killer soundtrack to accompany the action.

 

Overall

Overall ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ is a wonderful fantasy movie with some brilliant action set pieces and great animation. The film’s soundtrack is absolutely brilliant and James Newton Howard should be proud of the work he has done here.

The movie itself has a wonderful message to it, which isn’t in the least bit preachy. But it is a strong message nonetheless.

So back to the question of whether or not this is worth paying for via Premier Access on Disney +. First off. I’d like to say that we here at scifipulse.net have absolutely no skin in the game. Disney hasn’t sought us out to review this film. Nor have they given us a free review copy either. So you are getting an unbiased opinion here. So, to answer the question. I’d say it is worth getting the film if you intend to watch it as a family. The price tag of £19.99 UK and $30.00 US maybe a big ask for an individual wanting to watch the film. But for families. Where there are at least four people involved. Then I’d say splurge the cash and go for it.

The film’s characters and the set pieces throughout will definitely keep the kiddies entertained. And even the bigger kids like me will find some joy in this film.

9.8
Raya and the Last Dragon (Disney +)
  • Story
    9.8
  • Voice Acting
    10
  • Animation
    9.5
  • Incidental Music
    10

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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