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Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon

Opening Date
05 Mar 2021
107 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Action, Adventure, Animation, Family
Carlos López Estrada, Don Hall
Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Raya and the Last Dragon” travels to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons lived together long ago 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. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than a dragon to save the world—it’s going to take trust and teamwork as well. “Raya and the Last Dragon” features the voices of Kelly Marie Tran as Raya, a warrior whose wit is as sharp as her blade, and Awkwafina as the magical, mythical, self-deprecating dragon named Sisu. Characters also include a street-savvy 10-year-old entrepreneur named Boun, the formidable giant Tong and a thieving toddler Noi with her band of Ongis. Directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada and produced by Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho,“Raya and the Last Dragon” will be released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on March 5, 2021.
By Rachelle  05 Mar 2021
Look out, world. Disney's first Southeast Asian princess is here to kick ass and take names.
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Disney’s latest animated feature Raya and The Last Dragon is the very one you wouldn’t want to miss. Not only because it features the studio’s very first Southeast Asian princess (there’s actually two of them, if we’re being technical!), but also because it’s genuinely good.

Raya and The Last Dragon is co-directed by Disney veteran Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh, Big Hero 6, Moana) and up-and-coming Carlos Lopez Estrada, based on a screenplay by Qui Nguyen and Crazy Rich Asians’ Adele Lim. It features a stellar voice cast consisting of Kelly Marie Tran as the titular character Raya, Awkwafina as Sisu the dragon, with Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, Benedict Wong, Alan Tudyk and Ross Butler in supporting roles.

Set in a realm known as Kumandra — a once prosperous land where humans and dragons cohabited, destroyed by evil spirits that turned everyone to stone and caused a power struggle that divided it into five factions resembling a dragon (Heart, Fang, Talon, Tail and Spine) — the film follows Raya, a warrior and princess of the Heart tribe who is determined to find the last dragon and restore peace to her world. 

If you thought that Mulan was a great warrior, wait till you see Raya in action. There are at least a couple of intense and intricately choreographed fight scenes in this film that could challenge that of most fight sequences you see in action films nowadays.

But of course, there’s no real journey without company. And even though Raya gets more than one sidekick like most of the former Disney princesses before her, each and every one of her band of misfits is lovable and deserving of their spot in their own right. I mean, who wouldn’t love a con-baby? And a soft giant? Yes, please. But the one character that stands out more than the pretty blue water dragon that sounds like Awkwafina is Izaac Wang’s character Boun — a charismatic young entrepreneur of a boat restaurant from Tail.

Without revealing too much, the beauty of the film’s intro alone is enough to wow and convince you that the team behind this film of many firsts is not here to play. As a viewer of Southeast Asian descent, it brought me great joy and pride to to see cultural elements I grew up with being portrayed in a Disney movie.

Raya and The Last Dragon is further induction that Disney princess movies aren’t quite what they used to be anymore and that’s a testament to the studio’s contribution in empowering young girls and shaping the future generation. Here’s to more badass female characters we can all look up to!

P/S: If you still walk out of the cinema halls dissatisfied by Raya, I promise you that the short Us Again is at least worth your ticket money already.
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Trailers / Videos
Disney's Raya and The Last Dragon | Official Trailer
Disney's Raya and The Last Dragon | Official Teaser Trailer
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