Review: “Raya and the Last Dragon”

“Raya and the Last Dragon,” the new Disney movie with the first Southeast Asian princess, is an exciting adventure with fun side characters and cute creatures.

“Raya and the Last Dragon,” is a new Disney princess movie released March 5th in movie theaters and on Disney+ premium, is widely considered as “Disney’s new masterpiece,” by critic Dirk Libbey. The movie is also praised for its representation and animation. 

In “Raya and the Last Dragon,” the audience sees a young woman searching for the last dragon, Sisu, in order to restore the world to how it was before the monstrous Druun invaded. The Druun is a formless monster that turns everyone it comes into contact with into stone. The Drunn were released when Tail, Spine, Fang, and Heart, the five factions that formed when the land of Kumandra broke apart, fought over the jem made from the last dragon magic.

The movie appears to be inspired by many different Southeast Asian cultures as shown by a cast that widely represents Southeast Asia and the foods, accessories, and more shown throughout the movie. Disney also introduces Raya as the first Southeast Asian disney princess, this makes Raya the sixth disney princess of color. Disney princesses of color today include Jasmine, an Arabian princess, Pocahontas the daughter of a Native American Chief, Mulan a Chinese war hero, Tiana an African-American princess, Moana the daughter of a Polynesian Chief, and now Raya a Southeast Asian princess. 

“Raya and the Last Dragon” has great animation, with beautiful environments and creatures. The style of animation for the people in this film is similar to that of “Big Hero 6”, Andrew Feliciano, one of the animators who worked on “Big Hero 6” was actually the animation supervisor of “Raya and the Last Dragon.”  The movie also has great actors, such as Awkwafina, who is the voice of Sisu. Casting her as Sisu was a great choice, as she added humor to the film. 

The animation of Sisu, the last dragon, was good but seems like it would be more fitting for another film. The dragons in this film don’t match up with the style of the rest of Kumandra, the dragons animation was very soft and fluffy looking, not how I would imagine the strong protectors of Kumandra to be. When the history of Kumandra is being told, the more artistic animation of the dragons seems much more fitting to the rest of the film, if the animators could have transitioned that design of dragon to the animation of the rest of the movie more fluidly the movie would’ve looked more put together.

In “Raya and the Last Dragon,” there are some scenes that may leave you as annoyed as I was while watching them and there may be some characters that you don’t like, but “Raya and the Last Dragon” definitely makes up for those moments throughout the movie with it’s funny characters and quality visuals. Overall, “Raya and the Last Dragon” is a good movie with a great main character, amazing animation and new representation for Disney princesses. 

Rating: 3.9/5


Raya and the Last Dragon Official Trailer: