'Raya and the Last Dragon' is in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on March 5th, 2021.
When I first heard about Raya, announced at D23 a couple years ago, a new movie about a Southeast Asian Disney Princess, I was curious and excited. It felt like forever for this movie to come out, unsure if it would be delayed any further amid the coronavirus and if I would be able to see this in theaters. Alas, with the ongoing pandemic this movie has been released on Disney+ for a premium fee and let me tell you, it’s worth the purchase!
Raya, voiced by the amazing Kelly Marie Tran, is a princess who finds herself on a mission to litteraly save the world. With some help from her friends including Sisu, voiced by Awkwafina, she embarks on an epic adventure!
This movie is so different from anything Disney has done. The story is character driven, with a deep message of trust and unity - something that is so fitting for today’s culture. Kelly voicing Raya brought a warmth and kindness that just embodies the character. Awkwafina, as Sisu was funny and caring, you just fall in love with her. Namaari, the antagonist, voiced by Gemma Chan, is a villain you will find yourself rooting for.
The animation is unparalleled and as gorgeous as you would expect. I found my eyes watering more than once! It’s such a feeling to see different Southeast Asian cultures represented in a way I have not seen before. From the landscapes to the food, it’s so different and unexpected. I think that’s all I can say without spoiling anything, a movie about trust, kindness and redemption. This movie is an absolute must see!
The only thing I wish is that I could’ve seen this in theaters!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Ashley Kethley (Contributing Editor) is a frequent traveler currently living in San Diego. She's a super nerd who enjoys all kinds of movies and doesn't always think the book was better.
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